Friday, November 30, 2018

Successful Test of Carbon Dioxide Neutral Biofuel on 2,000 Kilometre Ocean Voyage  

Handysize Tanker Compares Marine Fuels to Reduce Harmful Emissions

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Shipping News Feature DENMARK – NETHERLANDS – ESTONIA – As the implementation of the IMO's Sulphur Cap approaches, Danish tanker group Norden has addressed another emission concern and says it has successfully operated a test voyage with a large commercial ocean-going vessel being powered by a CO2 neutral biofuel. The test voyage was supported by an international NGO, the Ecological Council and in co-operation with Rotterdam-based GoodFuels.

The 2,000 kilometre voyage saw the product tanker Nord Highlander sail from Rotterdam to Tallinn in Estonia. The ballast trip using the 182 metre long, 37,000 dwt Handysize vessel commenced with an initial leg from Antwerp using conventional low sulphur fossil fuel to compare how the engine reacted when, after a visual inspection of the engine, the vessels switched to biofuel in Rotterdam.

During the voyage the engine was operated at different loads for sufficiently long periods to establish stable performance. After the test, a final visual inspection of the engine was conducted, which confirmed that the engine was not negatively affected by the biofuel. Norden acknowledges that biofuel may not be the sole solution in the long run, however, believes that the carefully chosen second generation biofuels used can contribute significantly to reducing CO2 emissions here and now. Norden CEO, Jan Rindbo expects that once carbon neutral transport opportunities become available such fuel will be in high demand, saying:

“Now that we have proven CO2 neutral transport as a viable alternative, I am convinced many carbon conscious customers within a foreseeable future will demand this type of transport. 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.”

Norden says it will continue working with GoodFuels to gain further experience with biofuel as an alternative to low sulphur fossil fuel. Norden is also considering other possibilities to lower the carbon footprint. Supporting the test Kåre Press-Kristensen, Senior Adviser, Ecological Council, observed:

“We appreciate that Norden is investigating specific solutions to the climate challenge. We need actions here and now to meet the climate goals of the IMO and we are proud that Norden takes action, taking a leading role in biofuels, and look forward to following the development.”

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