Innovation 26-03-2024
Blue economy, Energietransitie

Fugro Pioneer’s methanol conversion underway

The Fugro Pioneer is ready to be equipped with methanol engines after successfully converting the main components on board. It is Fugro’s first methanol conversion to date. The conversion is taking place at Royal Niestern Sander in Delfzijl.


Using green methanol as a fuel reduces carbon emissions by more than ninety per cent compared to conventional diesel. The conversion is part of Fugro’s journey to reach Net-Zero operations by 2035.


There is an increased focus on sustainability in tenders for the offshore market, and as such for Fugro‘s clients. By embracing green methanol as a fuel, the company says that its clients are offered the significant opportunity to align their projects with environmental responsibility while maintaining operational efficiency.



The geophysical vessel was converted in the Netherlands as part of the Fugro-led consortium MENENS (Methanol as Energy Step Towards Emission-free Dutch Shipping) with a grant from the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO). MENENS consists of 22 partners representing the complete Dutch maritime sector, from equipment suppliers to designers, shipyards and shipowners. Converting the vessel to run on green methanol, further stimulates the green methanol market.


Steel work at Niestern Sander

In addition to Fugro, shipyard Royal Niestern Sander is also part of the MENENS consortium. The yard has been awarded the steel work scope in the methanol conversion of the Fugro Pioneer. This scope includes the creation of various internal spaces, including a fuel preparation room, auxiliary engine room, methanol storage tanks, cofferdams and a bunker station on deck with a vent stack. In addition, the layout of the existing engine room will be changed accordingly.


The vessel arrived at Royal Niestern Sander’s dock location in the Port of Delfzijl to begin the works in December 2023.


Two engines replaced

The now-completed vessel adjustments to the Fugro Pioneer allow two of its four original engines to be replaced by methanol engines, ensuring services can still be offered in regions where green methanol is not yet available. The delivery and installation of the methanol capable engines are expected in the second half of 2024.

Barbara Geelen, CFO Fugro: ‘The methanol conversion of the Fugro Pioneer is not only a pivotal move in diminishing our vessel emissions as part of our Net Zero 2035 journey, but it also stimulates the green methanol market. We will continue to invest in innovative solutions that not only help our clients, but also support us in reaching our company objectives.’


Bron: SWZ Maritime