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Alternative Fuels

IBIA: Guidelines for alternative bunker fuels further considered by IMO

Draft guidelines for some alternative marine fuels require further work intersessionally for consideration and finalization at CCC 10 in September 2024 with a view to adoption at MSC 109 in December 2024.

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The International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA) on Friday (22 September) published an article elaborating on guidelines for the safe design and operation of ships using alternative bunker fuels that were considered further by IMO’s CCC Sub-Committee (CCC 9) held from 20 to 29 September 2023:

A suite of guidelines for the safe design and operation of ships using alternative fuels (ammonia, hydrogen, LPG and other low flashpoint fuels) were considered further by IMO’s CCC Sub-Committee (CCC 9) held from 20 to 29 September 2023. Whilst progress was made on some aspects, and the draft LPG Guidelines finalised with a view to adoption at MSC 108 in May 2024, the draft guidelines for other alternative fuels require further work intersessionally for consideration and finalization at CCC 10 in September 2024 with a view to adoption at MSC 109 in December 2024.

Specific provisions associated with the bunkering of the alternative fuels, in respect of mitigation of the risks to the ship associated with the fuels, were considered in detail for ammonia and hydrogen. From the discussions it is clear that both present unique risks that require detailed consideration and provisions to mitigate those risks.

For ammonia it is not just the risks associated with toxicity, for example, to the extent that it may prevent the concept of safe-haven/refuge on board being applicable for certain ship types, that requires mitigation but also the corrosivity of the product and its effect on materials and so design of equipment. 

For storage, among the three different storage options for ammonia, i.e. refrigerated ammonia, semi-refrigerated ammonia and pressurized ammonia, only the former two should be considered for the purpose of the interim guidelines as a first stage, and that the use of pressurized ammonia systems would be possible through the alternative design process; portable tank provisions for ammonia should not be specifically developed.

For hydrogen the difficulty of containing leaks presents safety challenges and it was agreed that during bunkering operations leaks of hydrogen should be able to freely escape without accumulating to mitigate risk of fire or explosion. In this regard, as small leakages may form hydrogen pockets and coupled with hydrogen’s lower explosion limit and that it is impossible to de-energise electrical equipment in time, Emergency Shut-Down (ESD) principles have been removed from the current draft Guidelines.

Concerns were also expressed that ships using fuels such as LNG and methanol were being built with inadequate arrangements to debunker fuels (e.g. for pre dry dock preparations and emergencies (grounding, collisions)), due to a lack of related provisions in the IGF Code or Guidelines. It was decided not to include any such provisions at this time, but may be included when developing the draft interim guidelines for other alternate fuels such as hydrogen and ammonia.

A summary of progress is provided below.

Interim guidelines for the safety of ships using hydrogen as fuel

These draft guidelines have been developed further. They are goal-based and provide provisions for the arrangement, installation, control and monitoring of machinery, equipment and systems using hydrogen as fuel to minimise the risk to the ship, its crew and the environment. Additional intersessional work will be carried out with the aim to present the progress to CCC 10 (September 2024) with a view to finalization and adoption at MSC 109 in December 2024.

Interim guidelines for the safety of ships using ammonia as fuel

These draft guidelines have been developed further and provide an international standard for ships using ammonia as fuel. They are goal-based and will provide provisions for the arrangement, installation, control and monitoring of machinery, equipment and systems using ammonia as fuel to minimise the risk to the ship, its crew and the environment. Additional intersessional work will be carried out with the aim to present the progress to CCC 10 (September 2024) with a view to finalization and adoption at MSC 109 in December 2024.

Interim Guidelines for Use of LPG Cargo as Fuel

Due to the urgent industry need, CCC 9 developed these draft guidelines to provide unified specific guidance for ships using liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cargo as fuel. Written in a goal-based manner they are expected to be agreed at MSC 108 in May 2024

Interim guidelines for the safety of ships using low flashpoint oil fuels

These guidelines are expected to provide an international standard for ships using oil-based fossil fuels, synthetic fuels and biofuels with a flashpoint between 52°C and 60°C. A Correspondence Group will continue to consider them and submit a report to CCC 10 (September 2024).

Photo credit: IBIA
Published: 6 October, 2023

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Biofuel

PIL vessel in bio bunker fuel trial transports containers with PSA Singapore

Containers, bound for Mitsui Chemicals Asia Pacific’s beneficial cargo owner, were transported via PIL’s vessel “Kota Ratna” and PSA’s coastal terminal and rail nodes in Singapore, Qinzhou and Chongqing.

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PIL transports containers using bio bunker fuel in trial with PSA Singapore

PSA Singapore (PSA) and Pacific International Lines (PIL) on Wednesday (29 May) announced the completion of their first trial of low-carbon green shipments, in a joint effort to build a more sustainable end-to-end supply chain ecosystem.

This pilot trial is part of the Memorandum of Understanding signed in October last year between the two long-standing partners to collaborate on green and sustainability solutions to decarbonise supply chains. 

The pilot consists of warehouse-to-warehouse cargo flow from Singapore to Chongqing via the International Land-Sea Trade Corridor. The containers, bound for Mitsui Chemicals Asia Pacific, Ltd’s beneficial cargo owner, were transported via PIL’s vessel Kota Ratna and PSA’s coastal terminal and rail nodes in Singapore, Qinzhou and Chongqing.

Green levers utilised in this pilot include the use of biofuel on Kota Ratna as well as landside supply chain optimisation by PSA.

The biofuel used for this trial, a blend of 24% used cooking oil with very low sulphur fuel oil, abated about 100 tonnes of carbon, equivalent to planting 4000 trees, and reduced the emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) by 84.1%.

With first-hand data on carbon emissions obtained from this pilot trial, PIL will be better equipped to assess how it can further lower emissions from its vessel operations, not just for its existing ships but also for its eight new LNG dual-fuel container vessels that will be progressively delivered from end 2024.

The PSA Port Ecosystem Business Division leveraged container barging, a greener mode of transportation as compared to trucking, to haul cargo from PSA Jurong Island Terminal to Pasir Panjang Terminal for onward shipment towards Chongqing. 

In addition, the use of container handling equipment powered by electricity and greener alternative fuels at PSA’s ports reduced emissions in the port area.

The collaborative efforts by both partners across the end-to-end supply chain translated to planting one tree for every laden container moved across this value chain.

Philbert Chua, Managing Director, Container Division, PSA Corporation Ltd, said, “The successful completion of this green pilot project with PIL is an important step forward for the maritime and supply chain sector.”

“Combating climate change is one of our urgent priorities and PSA is committed to work with like-minded partners to put these words into action.”

“This concerted teamwork illustrates a step-by-step measurable approach to further decarbonise supply chains and has unlocked opportunities for accelerated action to achieve our net zero goal.”

Abhishek Chawla, Chief Marine Officer, PIL, said, “PIL is pleased to receive promising results from this low-carbon green shipments pilot trial with PSA.”

“With sustainability at the core of PIL’s operations, we are happy to join forces with PSA as we take concrete action to drive a sustainable future. The valuable insights obtained from this trial will empower PIL to further reduce our vessel emissions in the future, as part of our goal of achieving net zero by 2050.”

“Working hand in hand with like-minded partners, we can augment each other’s sustainability efforts in creating greener shipping and providing a sustainable net zero model to our customers soon.”

 

Photo credit: PSA Singapore
Published: 30 May 2024

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Alternative Fuels

China: Chimbusco, Suzhou Fengbei Biotechnology to conduct bio bunker fuel research

Both parties will comprehensively promote the use of biodiesel in the bunker fuel market and contribute to green and low-carbon shipping.

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China: Chimbusco, Suzhou Fengbei Biotechnology to conduct bio bunker fuel research

China Marine Bunker (Petro China) Co., Ltd. (Chimbusco) and Suzhou Fengbei Biotechnology Co., Ltd. on Thursday (23 May) signed a strategic cooperation agreement to jointly carry out research on the application of marine biofuels and promote pilot projects on the application of biodiesel. 

Both parties will comprehensively promote the use of biodiesel in the bunker fuel market and contribute to green and low-carbon shipping.

Suzhou Fengbei Biotechnology Co., Ltd. has long been committed to the research and development of comprehensive utilisation of natural oil resources, forming an oil resource recycling industry chain of "industrial oils-biofuels (biodiesel)-biobased materials". 

Qin Ling, secretary of the Party Committee and general manager of Chimbusco said with the implementation of increasingly stringent emissions laws and regulations, the company is actively responding to and adapting to domestic development needs. 

“Through strategic cooperation, the company is locking in the future demand for biofuels,” he said. 

Pingyuan, chairman of Suzhou Fengbei Biotechnology Co., Ltd. said that both firms will rely on their respective advantages and resources and seize new opportunities for carbon reduction in shipping. 

Disclaimer: The above article published by Manifold Times was sourced from China’s domestic market through a local correspondent. While considerable efforts have been taken to verify its accuracy through a professional translator and processed from sources believed to be reliable, no warranty is made regarding the accuracy, completeness and reliability of any information.

 

Photo credit: Zhangjiagang Bonded Zone (Jingang sub-district) Party and Government Office
Published: 30 May 2024

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Wind-assisted

MOL to install wind propulsion system on seven newbuildings

MOL has measured the performance of the Wind Challenger on a vessel “Shofu Maru” continuously on actual voyages and confirmed Wind Challenger sail reduced daily fuel consumption by up to 17%.

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MOL to install wind propulsion system on seven newbuildings

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) and its group company MOL Drybulk Ltd. on Monday (27 May) announced their intent to install wind propulsion systems on a total of seven newbuilding bulk carriers and multi-purpose vessels, which will be operated by MOL Drybulk. 

MOL has measured the performance of the Wind Challenger on a vessel Shofu Maru continuously on actual voyages and confirmed that the Wind Challenger sail reduced daily fuel consumption by up to 17%.

The fuel saving and GHG reduction effect of the Wind Challenger depends on various conditions such as the type of vessel and the shipping route.

MOL Group will have a total of nine Wind Challenger-equipped vessels, bringing the total number of vessels equipped with wind propulsion systems to 11.

Among the seven vessels to be equipped with wind propulsion systems, six new bulk carriers will each be equipped with one Wind Challenger. Construction contracts have already been signed with Oshima Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. for three of the six vessels, and preparations are under way for construction contracts for the remaining three vessels.

In addition, MOL Drybulk has decided to install two Ventfoils, a foldable and autonomous unit for wind-assisted ship propulsion, manufactured by Dutch firm EconoWind B.V., on one of its new multipurpose vessels slated for delivery 2025 and operation under a time charter.

MOL has established the "MOL Group Environmental Vision 2.2" and has set the target of achieving net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050. One of the key strategies to achieve this target includes the "introduction of clean energy, further energy-saving technologies," and the group plans to launch 25 vessels equipped with the Wind Challenger by 2030 and 80 vessels by 2035.

 

Photo credit: Mitsui O.S.K. Lines
Published: 30 May 2024

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