Singapore-based X-Press Feeders has begun operating its first methanol-fuelled container ship in northern Europe.

The 1,264-teu Eco Maestro (built 2024) will start operations out of Rotterdam and is the first of 14 methanol-fuelled vessels the company has on order.

A second vessel, the 1,170-teu Eco Umande (built 2024), was recently converted to run off methanol after being built in China as a methanol-ready vessel.

All the ships are dual-fuel, meaning they can use standard fuel oil and marine diesel in addition to the methanol, using separate fuel supply and storage tanks.

X-Press Feeders is promoting the two north-east European networks as its Green Network.

The two networks are the Green Finlands service running between Rotterdam, Antwerp, Helsinki, Tallinn and HaminaKotka, and the Green Baltic service which will run from Rotterdam and Antwerp to Klaipeda and Riga.

X-Press Feeders said it will be sourcing bio-methanol which has been sourced from waste and residues and is certified under the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification. The fuel is being supplied by OCI Global.

“Today marks a significant milestone in sustainable shipping in Europe because companies here now have a regularly scheduled network that can ship goods in a way that has less impact on the environment, helping companies to better achieve their sustainability goals,” X-Press Feeders chief operating officer Francis Goh said.

He said the company had found that its customers in northern Europe were more receptive to the idea of sustainable shipping.

“We plan to steadily expand the green network across Europe as we take delivery of our dual-fuel vessels,” he added.

The company said its second methanol-fuelled vessel will be joining the green service network this quarter.