Meet Uthörn, the first German ship powered by methanol

Meet Uthörn, the first German ship powered by methanol

The original Uthörn has been ferrying researchers and scientists between Bremerhaven and Helgoland for many years. However, now the the time has come for the ship to retire. Fortunately, the new Uthörn that will take its place is set to be a futuristic first for Germany - powered by methanol and almost entirely CO2 neutral. 

New Uthörn currently being built in Lower Saxony

The ship is 35 metres long, and construction is set to be completed in 2022 when it will enter into service and be handed over to researchers. The new eco-friendly boat is being built at the Fasse shipyard in Berne, Lower Saxony

Traditionally, boats such as the Uthörn are powered by marine-grade diesel. Methanol, however, is odourless, inexpensive and much cleaner. As opposed to diesel, methanol will also dissolve in water, so in the event of an accident or spillage, the fuel would not cause major ecological damage. 

Completely CO2 neutral?

If the researchers and ship maintenance teams decide to use green methanol - methanol derived from renewable sources - then the ship will be CO2 neutral. In order for this to take place, a supply contract between the Uthörn’s operators and a green methanol supplier must be secured. 

There are already long-term plans in place in Bremerhaven to create a green methanol hub, with discussions being focused around an eight-megawatt wind turbine to aid eco-friendly methanol production. 





Emily Proctor

Former Editor at IamExpat Media.

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