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Marine Fuels 360: Fingerprinting to play key role in proving biofuel feedstock authenticity and beyond, says VPS

‘The proof of sustainability will become really tricky going ahead. However, [VPS/GCMD] trials have proven biofuels possess fatty acid chains that produce a unique profiling,’ states Captain Rahul Choudhuri.

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The use of finger printing technology today will likely establish a blueprint of how future alternative bunker fuels’ feedstocks are authenticated, forecasts the President, Strategic Partnerships at marine fuels testing company VPS.

Captain Rahul Choudhuri was speaking amongst panellists in the Alternative Fuels Debate session at Marine Fuels 360 on Tuesday (28 November) when he gave an update of VPS’ biofuels finger printing trials with the Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation (GCMD).

“We are currently doing some really important and cutting-edge work together with GCMD in trying to fingerprint biofuels to enhance transparency and authenticity issues,” he stated.

“Biofuel feedstock comes from a variety of sources including edible vegetable oils, animal fat, waste, and components; but how do you figure out what the feedstock really was?”

According to Captain Choudhuri, the supply chain within the shipping and bunkering sector is “different” and prone to contamination or fraud.

Biofuel composition, supplied through several parties, could be inconsistent when delivered to the receiving vessel despite the product being subjected to the International Sustainability Carbon Certification (ISCC) programme.

“The proof of sustainability will become really tricky going ahead. However, [VPS/GCMD] trials have proven biofuels possess fatty acid chains that produce a unique profiling,” he noted.

“If you think your feedstock should be palm-based and the fingerprint shows clearly that it is not – then that’s it – because the fingerprint just doesn't fail irrespective of which country the biofuel comes from.

Captain Choudhuri, meanwhile, believes the use of finger printing for determining feedstocks of future marine fuels could prove challenging.

“It seems we need to dig in a little bit more and honestly, it’s a little trickier. But I am sure our current fingerprinting trials will offer a blueprint of how traceability of future bunker fuels including bio-methanol needs to be.”

Moving forward, Captain Choudhuri highlighted VPS was “very bullish” on the consumption of biofuels as a marine fuel.

“There has been a lot of first movers using biofuels; we've tested more than 1,000 biofuels samples globally over the last year or two, compared to less than a handful pre-COVID. The uptake has been very dramatic in the last two years,” he said.

“Since the beginning of this year, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore has recorded more than 400,000 mt of bio-VLSFO being delivered which was four times during the similar period in 2022.

“That’s a huge move and this is exactly what VPS expects it to be.”

Related: GCMD-led consortium completes trials of sustainable biofuel bunker supply chains
Related: Dr. Nicholas Clague shares VPS’ experience with alternative bunker fuels
Related: Dubai: Shipowners and peers discuss realities of biofuel adoption at VPS Biofuels Seminar
Related: Singapore: VPS panel discussion presents a masterclass in shipping’s biofuel bunker adoption issues to the deck

Photo credit: Informa
Published: 29 November 2023

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Biofuel

UECC reduces emissions in 2023 by more than doubling bio bunker fuel use

UECC boosted the use of ISCC-certified sustainable biofuel B100 on both owned and time-chartered ships to 14,000 mt last year, up from 6,500 mt in 2022.

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UECC

United European Car Carriers (UECC) recently announced its progress of using alternative bunker fuels and said it was on track to exceed its goal of a 45% emissions reduction by 2030 after more than doubling biofuel usage across its fleet last year.

UECC boosted the use of ISCC-certified sustainable biofuel B100 on both owned and time-chartered ships to 14,000 metric tonnes (mt) last year, up from 6,500 mt in 2022.

The company achieved a total tank-to-wake emissions reduction of over 60,000 tonnes across its 14-vessel fleet in 2023, of which it is estimated increased biofuel use accounted for 40,000 tonnes, with the remainder coming from LNG. This was a near-250% increase on the emissions cut of 24,200 tonnes achieved in 2022.

TheEuropean sustainable shortsea carrier said it has made significant strides in decarbonisation of its fleet of pure car and truck carriers (PCTCs) with the addition of five LNG-fuelled newbuilds and the increased rollout of biofuels in recent years - and this is now showing commercial payback for clients in the light of new green regulations, according to Energy and Sustainability Manager Daniel Gent.

“Consequently, we are well on the way to reach or exceed our 45% emissions reduction target by 2030. This clearly has a positive impact for those bio-supportive cargo owners in terms of reducing costs related to the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS),” Gent said.

“Furthermore, 85% of the vessels in our fleet achieved a C-rating last year with the IMO’s Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII) and this year we expect all our ships to achieve this rating or above.”

Gent also pointed out the UECC fleet is already in surplus in relation to the requirement for an average 14.5% reduction in GHG intensity by 2035 under the FuelEU Maritime regulation due to be implemented next year.

The environmental performance of UECC’s current fleet of nine owned and five time-chartered PCTCs has been enhanced through delivery over the past seven years of five eco-friendly newbuilds - a pair of dual-fuelled LNG vessels and trio of multi-fuel LNG battery hybrid units.

The use of LNG reduces emissions of CO2 by around 25%, SOx and particulate matter by 90% and NOx by 85%, while the latest battery hybrid newbuilds exceed the IMO target to reduce carbon intensity by at least 40% from 2008 levels by 2030.

UECC is now looking at sourcing alternative carbon-neutral fuels such as bio-LNG and e-LNG for these vessels to further improve their green performance, according to Gent.

UECC’s adoption of alternative fuels has expanded exponentially since the programme was launched in 2020 with piloting the use of biofuel on its vessel Autosky, bolstered by valuable support from owners of its time-chartered vessels, clients such as BMW, fuel suppliers like GoodFuels, industry partners, and parent companies NYK and Wallenius Lines.

“We are now in the fifth year of running our biofuels programme and it has gone from strength to strength. UECC has sought to take a leading role through early-stage analysis of new biofuels to evaluate their potential in terms of technical suitability, sustainability and commercial viability, both  to deliver the best solution for our customers and give the sector a blueprint for assessment and adoption of such fuels based on these three pillars,” Gent explained.

He added that, in terms of sustainability criteria, the company looks for biofuels with the biggest environmental impact, with a typical minimum 90% reduction in GHG intensity from well-to-wake compared with conventional marine fuels. 

UECC has steadily expanded the use of green fuels to cover 30% of its fleet in 2023, up from 18% in 2022, and is on track to achieve 50% coverage this year towards the goal of 80% by 2030, though Gent is confident of surpassing this figure.

He said being proactive in trialling new alternative fuels has also promoted engagement with fuel providers, which has led to UECC’s latest initiative together with biofuel supplier ACT Group as part of an industry collaboration to test the Cashew Nut Shell Liquid (CNSL)-based biofuel FS.100 that he believes has “great potential for sustainable shipping”.

“Increasing the pool of sustainable drop-in fuels offers a pathway for shipping to achieve rapid emissions cuts on existing vessels. Combining alternative fuels with energy efficiency measures such as hull cleaning and electrification with shore power can further accelerate decarbonisation,” Gent said.

“By progressively advancing the use of alternative fuels, we are reducing emissions exposure for our clients and securing regulatory compliance long into the future, while also promoting industry efforts to reach the net-zero goal,” he concluded.

 

Photo credit: United European Car Carriers
Published: 21 June, 2024

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LNG Bunkering

CMA CGM takes delivery of fourth LNG-fuelled containership

Naming ceremony and delivery of vessel, organised at HD Hyundai Mipo in Ulsan, South Korea, marked entry of the fourth vessel in a series of ten specially designed for Northern Europe feeder services.

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CMA CGM takes delivery of fourth LNG-fuelled containership

French shipping giant on Wednesday (19 June) said it celebrated the naming ceremony and delivery of its fourth LNG-fuelled container ship, CMA CGM Tivoli.

Organised at HD Hyundai Mipo in Ulsan, South Korea, on 16 June, the event marked the official entry of the fourth vessel in a series of ten specially designed for Northern Europe feeder services.

“Featuring optimised features for 45-foot containers, increased capacity for refrigerated containers, and innovative forward accommodation to enhance cargo loading and aerodynamics, CMA CGM Tivoli distinguishes itself with a high ‘length to beam" ratio to maximise hydrodynamic efficiency,” the firm said in a social media post. 

“She departed the shipyard on June 15th, 2024, bound for Busan. We wish fair winds and smooth seas to Captain Artur Dumbrov and his crew.” 

 

Photo credit: CMA CGM
Published: 21 June, 2024

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Bunker Fuel

Baltic Exchange: Bunker Report (20 June 2024)

Bunker report panellists include Island Oil Limited, Cockett Marine Oil Pte, Monjasa A/S and KPI OceanConnect.

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Baltic Exchange: Bunker Report (20 June 2024)

The following bunker report has been provided by freight market information provider Baltic Exchange for post on Singapore bunkering publication Manifold Times:

Note:

All values are in US$/metric ton, all-in (invoice price), delivered on board
Delivery in 7-10 days
ISO 8217:2010
IFO 380 3.5% Sulphur
IFO 380 0.5% Sulphur
DMA 0.1% Sulphur

Rotterdam – Waalhaven – Maasvlakte range
Houston – Houston Harbor
Singapore – Anchorage, under SBA Scheme
Fujairah – Offshore Anchorage Area

Submitted weekly at Close of Business UK time, on Tuesday & Thursdays

Panellists:
Island Oil Limited, Cockett Marine Oil Pte, Monjasa A/S, KPI OceanConnect

 

Photo credit and source: Baltic Exchange
Published: 21 June, 2024

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