Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Major Container Line Will Routinely Bunker Biofuels as Sulphur Cap Comes Into Force

MSC Will Utilise Responsibly Sourced Blended Oils
Shipping News Feature

NETHERLANDS – Following successful trials with biofuel blends earlier this year, Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) has decided to continue bunkering responsibly sourced biofuel blended oils on a routine basis with the use of biofuel in its vessels calling in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

With the incoming Sulphur Cap beginning on the first day of the New Year all shipping lines are trying out various technologies to aid the drive toward zero emissions. The MSC trials were completed with a minimal 10% blend fuel and following further trials the company is now using much higher 30% blends. Bud Darr, Executive Vice President, Maritime Policy & Government Affairs, MSC Group, commented:

“We are pleased to see these trials completed successfully and look forward to now using biofuel on our vessels as a routine matter. When using such blended fuel, we can expect an estimated 15-20% reduction in absolute CO2 emissions. The potential CO2 reduction in the bio component of these fuels could reach 80-90%, which we will monitor and confirm over time.”

Responsibly sourced biofuels could provide an alternative solution for the shipping sector to meet the 2030 IMO level of ambition for CO2 emissions intensity reduction, as well as to make significant progress toward the 2050 levels of ambition. Using biofuel on container ships could significantly help reduce emissions and improve air quality.

MSC’s decision to use biofuel is complementary to the company’s broader strategic approach to sustainability. The company remains committed to implementing concrete plans to modernise its green and efficient fleet via the largest container shipping investment program in the industry.

One company taking the lead in the sustainable biofuel market is GoodFuels, which founded the GoodShipping Program in 2016 to encourage shippers and shipping lines to take on the challenge of cutting the industry’s carbon emissions. By September last year five shippers had completely offset the carbon emissions of their cargo by refuelling a vessel with marine biofuels.

GoodFuels BFO apparently contains no sulphur, and with 90% less CO2 emissions when compared to traditional fossil-based fuels such as heavy fuel oil (HFO), the BFO is claimed as suitable for every type of vessel, without requiring any modifications to engine room equipment.

The deep sea trade to and from the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp region is seen as a key market for the new product, boosted by that IMO mandatory pollution cap. GoodFuels has been in partnership with Reinplus Fiwado Bunker, a subsidiary of Switzerland-headed VARO Energy Marketing AG with the intention of cornering this area of the market.

Photo: Courtesy of VARO.