The GreenPilot Project

The objective of the GreenPilot project is to demonstrate that introduction of methanol as a fuel for smaller ships can improve competitive power and reduce the environmental impact. The target group is both commercial operations and recreational boating.

GreenPilot, which began in March 2016, intends to convert a pilot boat to methanol operation to show how a methanol conversion of a smaller vessel can be carried out in practice and to demonstrate the emissions reductions that can be achieved.
Methanol is a sulphur-free clean-burning alcohol that has reduced emissions of harmful particulates and nitrous oxides as compared to conventional marine fuels.

There are currently no rules in force that applies for installation of low flashpoint fuel in small ships. The project will address this issue as well and propose relevant rules and requirements.

In the project, a variety of methanol combustion concepts will be evaluated. The concept that is considered to be the most appropriate will be further developed. Laboratory test will be performed to verify performance regarding operation and emissions and the engines will be equipped for marine installation.

Project partners include; Swedish Maritime Technology Forum (project lead), ScandiNaos (technical project lead), SSPA, the Swedish Maritime Administration and the Swedish Transport Administration.

The project will come to an end in 2018.

Main project components 

Adaptation of a suitable pilot boat

Adaption work will include replacing the existing engine with a new engine that is converted to methanol operation and modifying a number of auxiliary systems such as the fuel bunker tank and piping, gas and fire detection system, fire suppression system, etc.

Analysis, evaluation, and development of proposals for applicable rules and regulations for methanol fuel installations on smaller vessels

There are currently no rules in force for

the use of low flashpoint fuel on smaller ships. The project will identify and propose relevant and applicable rules that will ensure that the current safety levels are maintained or improved where appropriate.

The project results could potentially serve

as the basis for development of official regulations and classification society rules.

Engine Adaptation

A number of methanol engine concepts are possible for implementation on a pilot boat. Different concepts will be analysed and the most applicable for the case boat will be

selected. Results from laboratory tests carried out in related projects such as SUMMETH will be utilized for evaluation and engine adaption/calibration.

System for distribution of methanol

Methanol can be delivered by truck but a local fuel storage tank needs to be installed at the pilot boat station. Fossil free methanol will be purchased from a demonstration plant in Piteå, Sweden. Fossil free methanol is also available on the European market. Carbon Recycling International in Iceland has an annual production of 4 000 tons of methanol from recycled CO2.

Modification of other ship systems to reduce environmental impact

Other ship systems apart from the engine will be analysed in order to identify their environmental impact. Possible

methods for reducing these impacts will be investigated and implemented where possible.

The Weichai engine that will be converted to run on methanol