The first marine biofuel trial involving an ocean-going vessel bunkered in Singapore was conducted on 4 April 2021. As part of the trial, a 2020-built 81,290 deadweight tonne dry bulk carrier was refuelled with ‘drop-in’ advanced biofuel blended with conventional fossil fuels.
The key objectives of the biofuel bunkering trial include understanding the behaviour of the fuel (such as emissions), assessing engine and vessel operational performance during the trial as well as exploring the technical and commercial merits and challenges of biofuels as a marine fuel. It was conducted by BHP, Oldendorff Carriers and GoodFuels, with the support of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA).
The trial will enable BHP to develop an informed strategy on the structural supply and use of biofuels to support the company’s key shipping routes. These objectives are in line with BHP’s strategy to assess biofuels as a potential low-carbon fuel of the future, which is an important step in enabling BHP to establish pathways for meeting one of its Scope 3 greenhouse gas emission goals for 2030, to support 40 per cent emissions intensity reduction of BHP-chartered shipping of its products.
BHP’s Vice President of Maritime, Rashpal Bhatti, said that the company strives hard to work with customers, suppliers and other stakeholders along the value chain to influence emissions reductions across the full life cycle of its products.
“We fully support moves to decarbonise the maritime industry,” Bhatti said.
The advanced biofuel, supplied by GoodFuels, reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 80-90 per cent well-to-exhaust compared with HFO/VLSFO, and uses sustainable waste and residue streams as feedstock.
Chief Commercial Officer at GoodFuels, Isabel Welten, said the trial marks the start of a process to facilitate more structural supply of sustainable marine biofuels in Singapore, in a commercial, operational and technically feasible manner.
Oldendorff Carriers chose one of their modern Kamsarmaxes, Kira Oldendorff, for the trial as appropriate modifications to the vessel were easily conducted to burn the biofuel blend efficiently, and monitoring instruments were installed to capture the trial data as accurately as possible.
Oldendorff Carriers Singapore’s Managing Director, Alex Vajsova-Jones, said the biofuel trial is a small but necessary step “in our common goal to reduce our carbon footprint”.
Interested parties are welcome to cooperate on the research, development and piloting of clean marine fuels in reducing the impact of shipping on the environment.