Published: 2019-03-15

Sustainable marine biofuel oil put to the test

Technology Sustainable marine biofuel oil put to the test

Photo: CMA CGM

On 19 March, a CMA CGM container carrier will be bunkered in the Port of Rotterdam with second generation biofuel derived from forest residues and waste cooking oil.

The bunkering will be a result of a co-op struck between IKEA Transport & Logistics Services, CMA CGM, the GoodShipping Program, and the Rotterdam port - the aim of which is to demonstrate the scalability, sustainability, and technical compliance of sustainable marine biofuel oil, and thereby spur the wider continued development of realistic options to curb greenhouse gas and sulphur oxide emissions from shipping.

"This announcement comes at a time when the shipping sector is at a crossroads, with owners and operators required to switch to low sulphur fuels by 2020. The industry also faces impending International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Greenhouse Gas (GHG) reduction requirements, including an objective to reduce average carbon intensity from shipping - the amount of carbon emitted for each unit of transport - by at least 40% by 2030, and 70% by 2050," a joint press release stated.

The testing is being facilitated by the GoodShipping Program, a sustainable initiative dedicated to decarbonising ocean freight, and is the latest step in the scaling of low carbon marine biofuel oils for wider commercial use within the maritime industry.

The sustainable marine biofuel oil has been developed by GoodFuels following three years of intensive testing with marine engine manufacturers. According to the company, the second generation biofuel oil is expected to deliver 80-90% well-to-propeller CO2 reduction vs. fossil equivalents. In addition, GoodFuels says, its product virtually eliminates sulphur oxide (SOX) emissions - and does it without any requirement for engine modifications.

"Through our pilot we want to show that the means for decarbonisation in terms of alternative fuels are available. We have a responsibility to do our part to reduce the impact of our ocean freight. Through our participation we send a signal to our customers and the ocean industry on our commitment to decarbonise. Only through collaboration can we achieve rapid, necessary change. With a successful pilot completed, our intention is to put the equivalent of at least all our containers out of Rotterdam on biofuel," Elisabeth Munck af Rosenschöld, Head of Sustainability, IKEA Global Transport & Logistics Services, said.

Dirk Kronemeijer, CEO, The GoodShipping Program, added, "The aim of our program has always been not only to reduce carbon emissions from shipping, but to show that the means to accelerate the energy transition are already available for the sector to grasp. Together we send a very clear message: sustainable biofuels are ready today, and we can meet the pathways laid out by the IMO in a manner that is attractive to major cargo owners such as IKEA."

"In a few days, we will be testing second-generation biofuel in one of CMA CGM's vessels for the first time. Having an HFO-equivalent solution in bio-fuel oil available with no engineering or operational changes required to our vessel offers a safe, manageable and innovative opportunity to facilitate shipping's wider transition to new fuel solutions," Xavier Leclercq, Vice President, CMA CGM, also commented.

Allard Castelein, CEO, the Port of Rotterdam, summed up by saying, "The Port of Rotterdam considers this initiative by IKEA, CMA CGM and GoodShipping to be a strong rallying cry to the shipping industry. This bunkering shows that decarbonisation of sea trade is well achievable. It's clear that shippers play an important role in decarbonising the industry. In Rotterdam the necessary infrastructure is available. Besides that, to support these kind of initiatives, we have just started a four year period during which we have €5 million to spend on stimulating specific projects to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the global shipping industry."


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