Certification, trials and availability

Increasing numbers of biofuel stems are being reported worldwide

December 15, 2023

Reports of biofuel bunkerings are coming in thick and fast. Japan’s “K” Line  carried out a test bunkering operation with supramax bulker Albion Bay using marine biofuels last year, with the cooperation of JFE Steel Corporation and Sumitomo Corporation.

“K” Line has recently announced it has established a system for certifying the amount of CO2 reduction from marine biofuels and issuing certificates, in association with Nippon Kaiji Kyokai(ClassNK) and has now certified the amount of CO2 reduction (heavy oil comparison) achieved during this test operation and issued a certificate.

Going forward, “K” Line says it will continue to enhance corporate non-financial information disclosure to respond to the needs from stakeholders, which is increasing year by year, as “an initiative to quantitatively indicate the degree of environmental contributions of our customers’ supply chains (Scope 3 emissions)”.

Availability of biofuel is also increasing rapidly. Major global supplier Bunker Holding says it has secured biofuel availability in more than 80 ports around the world, catering to last mile delivery.

The company says in a statement: “During the past months, biofuels have been bunkered by the Group to different segments, reaching from cruise and ferry lines and container ships to offshore clients and even smaller businesses.”

Meanwhile Maersk and Amazon have finalised a 2023-2024 agreement for the transport of 20,000 FEU containers using green biofuel through Maersk’s ECO Delivery ocean product offering.

Maersk estimates this purchase will contribute to a reduction in 44,600 metric tons of CO2e vs standard bunker fuel, roughly equivalent to 50 million pounds of coal burned. This is the fourth consecutive year that Amazon and Maersk have arranged container shipping using low GHG fuel options.

Among recent biofuel bunkerings, tanker shipping company Uni-Tankers and  KPI OceanConnect completed the “successful” supply and trial of a bespoke blend of B30 biofuel on Uni-Tankers’ Alsia Swan. Uni-Tankers say: “The trials are an important step for understanding the emissions performance of biofuel and validating its potential to help cut carbon emissions.”

The trial took place in Amsterdam on board Uni-Tankers’ 5,700 DWT chemical tanker. KPI OceanConnect arranged for the supply of 34,000 litres of bio grade fuel containing a 30% blend of FAME (fatty acid methyl esters). The fuel supply was part of a two-day trial which saw emissions for the biofuel measured and compared with emissions for LSMGO under the same conditions.

KPI OceanConnect’s local team of traders worked with their Uni-Tankers partners to identify a biofuel to meet their bespoke needs.

In results from the trial, Uni-Tankers saw particulate matter (PM) emissions reduced by as much as 42% when fuel supply was switched from LSMGO fuel to B30. Carbon monoxide (CO) emissions were also reduced by 18%. By using a blend of 30% biofuel and 70% fossil MGO, the Alsia Swan can cut lifecycle emissions of CO2 by an equivalent amount. In a future of tightening regulation of greenhouse gas emissions, this will be an important interim step ship owners can take to maintain compliance and support decarbonisation.

Another recent delivery was carried out by energy supplier Peninsula in Hong Kong to the “K” Line capesize bulk carrier Cape Amal, chartered by BHP.  The vessel started using the biofuel from August 29, 2023.

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