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DS Norden begins third trial on vegetable oil based bunker biofuel for bulk carrier

16 Dec 2020

Denmark-listed international shipping company Dampskibsselskabet NORDEN A/S (DS Norden) on Monday (14 December) said it is carrying out a third trial voyage using a biofuel as part of its ambition to offer biofuel to customers as a green transportation option. 

Henrik Røjel, Head of Fuel Efficiency and Decarbonisation joined the company’s bulk carrier Nord Biscay for its bunker operation in Ust-Luga, Russia, in order to prepare the crew to undertake the trial.

“The crew are all very excited to be involved,” said Røjel. “I’m working with engineers on board to practice how to collect the performance and emissions data we need from the main engine.”

The trial will take place over the next few days as Nord Biscay sails towards the Black Sea, powered solely on the biofuel made from waste vegetable oil. 

Depending on the outcome, DS Norden said it could be ready to offer biofuel to customers by next year.

“We know from previous testing that it’s a reliable fuel from which we can generate sufficient power output – and crucially vessels would not need to be modified to use it,” added Røjel.

The development would be a significant boost to the company’s journey to cut carbon emissions. If just 10 DS Norden vessels switched to biofuel, this would equate to a CO2 reduction of 150,000 tonnes per year, or 4% of total emissions, it said. 

The biofuel on trial is produced by Dutch company Good Fuels. While the fuel can only currently be bunkered in the Netherlands, customers purchasing a green transport option from DS Norden would not necessarily be directly purchasing services from the exact vessel that transports their goods running on biofuel.

Instead, they will be allocated a reduction in Co2 based on the carbon credits principle, explained the company. 

It added that at present there is not enough biofuel to power the shipping industry, but this will change as biofuel production becomes more advanced. It is hoped that by next year, biofuel could be available in some of the biggest bunkering hubs around the world. 

DS Norden was the first to trial biofuel on a commercial ocean-going vessel in 2018, and is now aiming to be one of the first to offer the fuel to customers.

Related: NORDEN to offer biofuel-based CO2 neutral service from 2019
Related: NORDEN completes trial of GoodFuels bio HFO


Photo credit: DS Norden
Published: 16 December, 2020

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