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Argus Media: Shell still sees biofuels as a decarbonisation pathway

19 Apr 2023

Shell still sees biofuels, especially “more sophisticated biofuels” such as bio-methanol, as a longer term decarbonisation pathway, according to the firm’s general manager for shipping and maritime for Asia-Pacific and the Middle East Nick Potter.

His comments came after the firm last month scrapped plans for a 550,000 t/yr sustainable aviation fuel, hydrotreated vegetable oil and renewable chemicals plant in Singapore.

Potter stressed the need to understand the economics, sustainability and potential to scale up biofuels globally when answering Argus’ questions on utilising biodiesel for decarbonisation.

Potter participated in Shell’s unveiling of its first electric ferry that will transport staff to its Bukom complex in Singapore on 17 April. Another two are to be launched by August this year. The ferry uses a lithium-ion battery system with a capacity of 1.2MWh with zero emissions. Shell expects the fleet to cut carbon dioxide emissions by around 6,250t, which is equivalent to greenhouse gas emissions from more than 18,000 one-way road trips from Singapore to Bangkok. The fleet will not emit nitrogen oxides, sulphur oxides or particulates.

The oil major also intends to begin a hydrogen fuel cell trial on a Shell-charted vessel in Singapore later this year, along with Singapore shipping firm Penguin, domestic engineering firm Sembcorp Marine and its new merger with Singapore conglomerate Keppel. The trial will allow them “to understand how hydrogen works in a marine environment”, according to Potter. “Shell sees hydrogen or a derivative of hydrogen as a long-term solution for the [decarbonisation of the] shipping and maritime sectors.”

By Ryan Ang


Photo credit and source: Argus Media
Published: 19 April, 2023

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