A total of 56 vessels able to use methanol as a fuel are now in operation or on order, according to classification society DNV.

In its monthly update on the company’s Alternative Fuels Insight, DNV lists oil and chemical tankers and container ships as the sectors with the largest uptake, logging 25 and 23 methanol fuelled vessels respectively.

There are also now 665 battery-powered vessels and 109 ships able to use LPG as fuel.

There is also a new category — in red — of eight vessels that will be able to use hydrogen.

DNV, which has been a keen chronicler of the development of LNG as a fuel, said it added a further nine LNG-fuelled vessel orders to its AFI platform in July.

The company said this brings the total order figure to 162 for the year-to-date, DNV said, with the growth in LNG-fuelled vessels driven by container ships and car carriers, constituting 51 % and 25 % of the orders respectively.

The class society details that there are currently 816 LNG-fuelled ships — 313 of which are delivered and 503 on order, or delivered, along with a further 229 additional LNG-ready vessels.

Container ships dominate the LNG-fuelled newbuilding orderbook with 170 orders, followed by car carriers with 94 vessels, 54 crude oil tankers and 49 bulkers.

DNV also records that there are currently 38 LNG bunker vessels in operation and a further 18 on order.

The majority are for vessels in the 5,000-cbm to the 10,000-cbm size range.

DNV Maritime Advisory business principal consultant Martin Wold said: “Although the growth in orders has slowed down somewhat in line with the general newbuild ordering activity, there are several large orders in the pipeline.”

Wold added: “It is also encouraging to see some innovative pilot projects hitting the order books, including cruise ships run on liquid hydrogen-powered fuel cells.

“These types of projects are key to driving technology maturity and establishing safety frameworks, and to accelerating the decarbonisation of shipping.”