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Canadian Company Embarks on Methanol HPDI Project for Marine Applications
Canadian Company Embarks on Methanol HPDI Project for Marine Applications

Canadian Company Embarks on Methanol HPDI Project for Marine Applications

  • 27-Feb-2024 6:54 PM
  • Journalist: Bob Duffler

Westport Fuel Systems, a prominent Canadian provider of alternative fuel systems, has unveiled an ambitious plan to initiate a proof-of-concept project centered around testing its High-Pressure Direct Injection (HPDI) fuel system, specifically utilizing methanol for marine applications. This strategic endeavor is being undertaken in collaboration with a leading global supplier of power solutions for maritime applications, commonly referred to as an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM). The project's anticipated commencement is set for the first quarter of 2022, with an estimated duration of approximately nine months. Notably, the entire funding for this significant project will be provided by the OEM partner, demonstrating their commitment to the exploration of innovative solutions for the marine sector.

This initiative represents a pivotal step in Westport's commitment to showcasing the practicality and effectiveness of the HPDI fuel system in the realm of marine applications. By serving as an initial proof-of-concept project that involves the utilization of methanol, it aims to validate the adaptability and viability of the HPDI technology beyond its current applications, which predominantly include commercially available liquefied natural gas (LNG) and previously demonstrated hydrogen applications. Scott Baker, Vice President of Global Engineering for Westport Fuel Systems, expressed considerable enthusiasm regarding this groundbreaking project. He emphasized the versatility of Westport's HPDI technology and its ability to seamlessly integrate with various low-carbon and zero-carbon fuels, aligning with the evolving landscape of sustainable energy solutions.

The decision to explore methanol as a fuel for marine applications is strategically aligned with the increasing recognition of its numerous advantages within the industry. Methanol's adaptability to existing engines, potential for blending with conventional fuels, and global availability have positioned it as an attractive option for powering maritime vessels. This is further evidenced by the surge in global methanol-ready shipbuilding orders, showcasing the industry's inclination toward incorporating methanol into their fuel systems. According to recent data from DNV Maritime, 23 methanol-fuelled ships have been added to the Alternative Fuels for Shipping Index (AFI) database since the commencement of the year, underscoring the rising prominence of methanol as a viable maritime fuel.

Westport's HPDI technology, positioned as a sustainable solution, particularly for challenging-to-decarbonize sectors like marine applications, holds considerable promise. The design of the fuel system is crafted to deliver comparable torque, power, and efficiency to traditional diesel engines while potentially reducing harmful nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions. By leveraging the accessibility and cost-effectiveness of methanol as a fuel source, Westport aims to play a significant role in contributing to the overarching goal of decarbonizing the marine sector. The successful execution and outcomes of this proof-of-concept project are anticipated to pave the way for broader adoption of Westport's HPDI fuel system, thereby influencing and shaping the trajectory of alternative fuels in the dynamic landscape of shipping and maritime operations.

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