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FOBAS: Decision pathways for biofuel bunker procurement

19 Apr 2023

Lloyd’s Register Fuel Oil Bunkering Analysis and Advisory Service (FOBAS) on Tuesday (18 April) released a bulletin to inform ship operators it has released a simple flowchart to guide them on steps to be considered when selecting biofuel bunkers:

With the drive towards a decarbonised future gaining momentum, shipping has seen an increasing interest in renewable fuels, in particular biofuels such as FAME (Fatty Acid Methyl Esters). Biofuels are increasingly being considered as a possible interim transitional solution, as a ‘can do now’ solution to reduce overall CO2 impact before other net zero-carbon fuels become widely available for maritime operations. They do not require much, if any, significant adjustments to the existing supply chain infrastructure and the machinery on board. Depending on the type of biofuel, they can be considered as a ‘drop-in’ fuel. 

With this increasing interest, ship operators are seeking support in the selection and decision process, which requires some key steps to be taken, especially at the procurement stage; in response, FOBAS has developed a simple flowchart (below in annex A) to guide ship operators in the steps needed to be considered for when selecting a marine biofuel and providing the areas that we can apply our experience on the subject in support.

The primary consideration from the buyer’s perspective is to establish if the biofuel blend on offer complies with the internationally recognised quality standards. Moreover, what information is available from fuel supplier regarding overall sustainability of the biofuel component present in the overall blend. 

In the absence of the aforementioned information, the procurement path is unlikely to be straightforward, requiring biofuel to go through a comprehensive assessment programme to ensure fuel is safe to use onboard.

We trust you will find this flowchart useful and as stated therein, LR FOBAS is there to support you to meet your greenhouse gas strategy and safe ship operations by ensuring we provide advisory support and a comprehensive fuel testing service.

FOBAS: Decision pathways for biofuel procurement

Note: The LR Guidance Notes on Biofuels mentioned in the flowchart can be found here


Photo credit: Louis Reed from Unsplash / FOBAS
Published: 19 April, 2023

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