What is claimed to be the world’s first zero emission, ‘drop in’ Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO)-equivalent marine biofuel has successfully completed trials, according to supplier GoodFuels Marine, which has undertaking the trials in conjunction with bulker and tanker owner and operator NORDEN A/S. This kind of fuel almost entirely reduces carbon and sulphur emissions.
The culmination of three years extensive research and development with partners including Royal Dutch Boskalis and engine manufacturer Wärtsilä, GoodFuels’ Bio-Fuel Oil (BFO) is said to deliver near-zero carbon and sulphur oxide (SOx) emissions without any requirement for engine modifications. The trials – which saw hundreds of tonnes of ‘drop in’ BFO taken onboard in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp region – were conducted on the 37,000 deadweight tonne (dwt) Handysize product tanker vessel NORD HIGHLANDER as she ran in typical commercial operation in the North and Baltic Seas.
The successful operation effectively means that there is the capability to future-proof fuel requirements for shipowners and operators who are seeking an alternative to both distillates and Ultra Low Sulphur Fuel Oil (ULSFO) in order to comply with 2020 0.5% sulphur cap requirements, as well as impending International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Greenhouse Gas (GHG) reduction requirements. These requirements include 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.
Dirk Kronemeijer, CEO, GoodFuels Marine, commented:
“We want to greatly thank NORDEN A/S for being a pioneer and for joining us as we take this crucial step towards developing a carbon-busting solution that is scalable, truly sustainable, technically compliant and – crucially – affordable. In our journey so far we have focused on realising the wide-scale use of bio-marine gas oil (MGO) equivalent biofuel, but for over three years we have been working day and night to develop our BFO solution.
“The importance of its arrival in the market is further underlined by the dual prospect of impending lower sulphur and carbon legislation. Bringing this to market now offers shipping a near-zero carbon and SOx alternative to HFO, and VLSFO – 0.5% blended fossil fuel – both of which will be prevalent in the market post-2020. From this point onwards we want to scale supply as fast as we can in order to actively contribute to the world’s 1.5 degree challenge.”
Jan Rindbo, CEO, NORDEN, added:
“NORDEN is proud to be at the forefront of testing and introducing CO2 neutral fuel that truly makes an impact on the highly important agenda of reducing the carbon footprint of shipping.”
“NORDEN has come a long way in increasing fuel efficiency and has reduced CO2 emissions per tonne cargo transported on owned tanker vessels by 25% between 2007 to 2017. With the newly introduced IMO targets on CO2 reductions, however, it is evident that increased fuel efficiency alone is not enough. We need alternative solutions and with this test, NORDEN has shown a viable method towards reaching these targets.
“Now that we have proven CO2 neutral transport as a viable alternative, I am convinced many carbon-conscious customers will demand this type of transport within the foreseeable future.”
NORDEN and GoodFuels Marine will continue working with each other to gain more experience and scale usage of the fuel as an alternative to HFO, ensuring the realisation of the opportunity to offer commercially attractive carbon-neutral transport to meet customers’ demands.
To support this aim, in 2016 GoodFuels founded The GoodShipping Program to further engage cargo owners in the challenge of combatting shipping’s carbon emissions. In September 2018 the Program announced that five shippers had completely offset the carbon emissions of their cargo by refuelling a vessel with marine biofuels.