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Rio Tinto and bp sign one-year trial of marine biofuels

B30 biofuel blend will be trialled on “RTM Tasman” on a mix of Transatlantic and Atlantic-Pacific routes, in one of the longest-duration marine biofuel trials to date.

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Oil major bp on Monday (23 May) said it has agreed to work together with dry bulk shipper Rio Tinto on a one-year biofuel trial to help reduce carbon emissions from Rio Tinto’s marine fleet. 

Under the trial, bp is supplying Rio Tinto with marine biofuel for approximately 12 months. 

The bio bunker fuel will be trialled on Rio Tinto’s RTM Tasman vessel on a mix of Transatlantic and Atlantic-Pacific routes, in one of the longest-duration marine biofuel trials to date.  

The results of the trial will help Rio Tinto study ways to reduce its carbon emissions from its marine fleet and inform its future biofuel strategy.

Rio Tinto Head of Commercial Operations, Laure Baratgin said: “Sustainable biofuels have the potential to be an important transition fuel on the way to net-zero marine emissions and we are pleased to be working with bp to carry out this long-term trial.”

“A longer-duration trial will provide important information on the potential role and wide scale use of biofuels, and aligns with our goals to reduce marine emissions across our value chain and support efforts to decarbonise the maritime industry.

“Our ambition is to reach net-zero emissions from shipping of our products to customers by 2050 and to introduce net-zero carbon vessels into our portfolio by 2030.”

“We know that we won’t meet these ambitions alone and along the way will need to work with capable and experienced companies such as bp.” 

Sven Boss-Walker, senior vice president refining & products trading, bp said “Sustainable biofuels are important to help decarbonise the shipping industry in the near- and mid-term as we transition towards longer term net zero solutions.”

“We’re proud to be working with Rio Tinto to support their work to decarbonise. These trials are part of our ongoing efforts to help accelerate the shipping industry’s energy transition.”   

The extended trial agreement follows a successful journey on the RTM Tasman after it refuelled with biofuel in Rotterdam in March 2022 for the first time and then picked up its first load of the trial at the Iron Ore Company of Canada’s Sept-Îles port in Quebec in April. 

All biofuel refuelling during the trial will be at Rotterdam.

The trial is using a bp-manufactured B30 biofuel blend composed of 30% fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) blended with very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO). 

This B30 biofuel blend can reduce lifecycle carbon dioxide emissions by up to 26% compared to standard marine fuel oil. 

FAME is a renewable alternative fuel (biodiesel) largely produced from recycled cooking oils and renewable oil sources. It has physical properties similar to conventional diesel, and is a ‘drop in fuel’, requiring no modifications to the engine or vessel. 

The origination and production of the feedstocks used to produce the FAME is certified for its sustainability to internationally recognised standards.

Working with bp and the ship managers Anglo Eastern, the trial will analyse a series of engine and fuel performance factors, including engine efficiency and fuel consumption, corrosion and degradation, microbial growth, temperature impact, fuel switching impacts and fuel stability. 

Rio Tinto is also accelerating the delivery of its climate commitments on shipping. 

It has delivered a 30% intensity reduction on its owned and time-chartered fleet from a 2008 baseline, and is on track to meet the International Maritime Organisation’s 2030 targets of a 40% reduction in emissions five years early, by 2025. 

bp is working with companies in key industrial sectors such as shipping, that have significant carbon emissions to manage, supporting their work to decarbonise. 

 

Photo credit: bp
Published: 25 May, 2022

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Bunker Fuel

SMW 2024: Singapore is preparing port for multi-fuel future, says Transport Minister.

‘Our industry has brought in new bunker tankers capable of bunkering higher blends of biofuel and methanol, paving the way for greater emissions reduction for vessels,’ says Chee Hong Tat.

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SMW 2024: Singapore is preparing port for a multi-fuel future, says Transport Minister.

Singapore has moved decisively to ensure energy and fuel resilience as international shipping looks to alternative fuels to meet global decarbonisation targets, said Singapore’s Minister for Transport Mr Chee Hong Tat on Monday (15 April).

In his speech at the Singapore Maritime Week (SMW) 2024 opening ceremony, he said Singapore is preparing its port for a multi-fuel future.

“Our industry has brought in new bunker tankers capable of bunkering higher blends of biofuel and methanol, paving the way for greater emissions reduction for vessels,” he said.

“MPA has also issued Expressions of Interest (EOI) for the alternative fuels ammonia and methanol over this past year.

“For our ammonia EOI, we have shortlisted six consortiums, and are studying their comprehensive proposals for the supply of ammonia for bunkering and power generation in Singapore.”

Chee added reliability and resilience also mean that Singapore upholds the highest standards for safety, efficiency, and quality. 

“Enterprise Singapore, through the Singapore Standards Council, has been working closely with industry partners to introduce national standards to support the digitalisation of bunkering supply chain documentation, as well as on methanol and ammonia bunkering.”

“As a major maritime and bunkering hub, Singapore is committed to continue serving as a trusted node for international shipping.”

Chee said this when elaborating on Singapore’s focus to grow the republic as a hub for reliable and resilient maritime operations, one of three important areas the republic will prioritise on growing its maritime sector. 

The other two areas are to grow Maritime Singapore as a hub for maritime innovation and as a hub for maritime talent development.

“Looking ahead, we expect some turbulence along the way, but we are confident that the global maritime industry will continue to grow,” Chee said.

“And Singapore as a hub port and International Maritime Centre can benefit from this growth and the opportunities it brings, including in emerging areas like digitalisation and decarbonisation.”

However, Chee warned Singapore shouldn’t take its success for granted and to continue improving productivity and competitiveness while staying relevant to changing requirements to be able to meet the needs of local and international stakeholders. 

“But we must not rest on our laurels, or make the mistake of thinking that these positive outcomes will happen on auto-pilot. A rising tide can indeed lift all boats, but the boat and its crew can only benefit if they are well-prepared when the water level rises,” he said.

Related: SMW2024: 18th Singapore Maritime Week opens with ‘Actions meet Ambition’ theme
Related: SMW 2024: MPA to set up facility for maritime workforce to train in handling new bunker fuels
Related: SMW 2024: Singapore-Rotterdam Green and Digital Shipping Corridor partners to implement first-mover pilot projects
RelatedSMW 2023: EOI for ammonia power generation and bunkering closing by 30 April
Related: Singapore gets its first dedicated methanol bunkering tanker “MT MAPLE”
Related: Singapore: Vitol Bunkers takes delivery of specialised biofuel bunker barge “Marine Future”

 

Photo credit: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore
Published: 16 April 2024

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Biofuel

Banle Energy arranges B24 bunkering services for “YM Utility” in Yantian

Transaction supports the first B24 biofuel supply in Shenzhen and Yang Ming’s inaugural B24 biofuel bunkering supply in China, says firm.

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Banle Energy arranges B24 bunkering services for “YM Utility” in Yantian

Banle Energy International Limited, a subsidiary of CBL International Limited, on Monday (15 April) announced the arrangement of B24 biofuel bunkering services for Yang Ming's vessel YM Utility at a port in Yantian, Shenzhen on 14 April.

“By providing Yang Ming with our B24 biofuel bunkering services, this transaction supports the first B24 biofuel supply in Shenzhen and Yang Ming's inaugural B24 biofuel bunkering supply in China,” the firm in a social media post. 

“As a company actively promoting the use of biofuels, we are making a significant contribution to the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from international shipping.”

“The B24 biofuel blend, as indicated by a study, is projected to reduce approximately 20% of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions when compared with conventional fuel oil.”

As the firm focuses on expanding its operations in Europe, the firm added it will continue to forge strategic partnerships and explore new opportunities to provide efficient and reliable solutions.

 

Photo credit: Banle Energy International Limited
Published: 16 April 2024

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Methanol

Singapore bunker tanker to be equipped with MAN ES DF gensets

MAN Energy Solutions received an order for three MAN 6L21/31DF-M (Dual Fuel-Methanol) GenSets capable of running on methanol for a 7,990 dwt IMO Type II chemical bunker tanker.

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Singapore bunker tanker to be equipped with MAN ES DF gensets

MAN Energy Solutions (MAN ES) on Monday (15 April) said it has received an order for three MAN 6L21/31DF-M (Dual Fuel-Methanol) GenSets capable of running on methanol in connection with the construction of a 7,990 dwt IMO Type II chemical bunker tanker.

The newbuild will operate at the port of Singapore under charter to deliver marine fuels. The port itself is reported as laying plans for the steady supply of methanol from 2025 onwards in order to meet future, anticipated bunkering requirements for methanol-fuelled vessels. 

The dual-fuel engines will form part of a diesel-electric propulsion system on board the vessel with electrical motors driving twin fixed-pitch propellers via gearboxes; an onboard battery-storage system will optimise the use of the dual-fuelled generators. 

MAN Energy Solutions’ licensee, CMP – an engine-manufacturing division of Chinese State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) – will build the engines in China and the vessel is scheduled for delivery during Q4, 2025.

Bjarne Foldager – Country Manager, Denmark – MAN Energy Solutions, said: “Seeing our trusted MAN L21/31 GenSets go into these ships as a methanol-fuelled version shows that maritime decarbonisation is a prominent consideration for shipowners in all vessel segments and sizes.”

“It also clearly illustrates, regardless of the market one serves as shipowner, that our broad, dual-fuel portfolio enables everyone to take part in the green transition.”

Thomas S. Hansen – Head of Sales and Promotion – MAN Energy Solutions, said: “The MAN L21/31 engine is well-established in the market having racked up some 2,750 sales.”

“The reliability of its cost-effective, port fuel-injection concept now prominently positions the 21/31DF-M as the preferred, medium-speed, small-bore engine for GenSet and diesel-electric propulsion solutions, while also meeting market demands to balance both CAPEX and OPEX.”

“With the shipping market currently experiencing an increased interest in methanol as marine fuel, and orders for methanol-fuelled ships steadily growing as part of many companies’ decarbonisation strategy, we feel that the introduction of this dual-fuel engine is timely.”

 

Photo credit: MAN Energy Solutions
Published: 16 April 2024

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