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Singapore: Equatorial Marine Fuel boosts sustainable marine fuel supply business with biofuel delivery to OOCL containership

B24 VLSFO delivered by EMF’s bunker tanker Sea Loyalty to an OOCL containership in Singapore on 31 October 2023.

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Singapore-based bunker supplier Equatorial Marine Fuel Management Services (EMF) reached another decarbonisation milestone with its first biofuel bunker sale and delivery in the Port of Singapore on 31 October 2023.

A bunker stem of B24 Very Low Sulphur Fuel Oil (VLSFO) was delivered by EMF’s 3,987 dwt Singapore-flagged bunker tanker Sea Loyalty to an OOCL containership as part of the milestone.

“Biofuel is a readily available and proven drop-in fuel, and this historic bunker delivery creates significant momentum for Equatorial Marine Fuel’s drive to expand its sustainable energy business portfolio by showcasing the sale and supply of biofuel as one of our commercially available products,” Choong Zhen Mao, Executive Director of EMF, told Manifold Times.

“With this successful delivery of biofuel, we strongly believe that we are a step closer in offering higher blends of biofuels, methanol and even ammonia in the future – especially at the Port of Singapore.”

According to Mr Choong, EMF faced several challenges prior to the current development.

These include higher price of biofuels as compared to conventional marine fuels and concerns to the suitability of the blends for existing engines, while proving sustainability and qualifying for carbon emission reductions under different regulatory bodies for the product.

“Equatorial has been actively reaching out to customers to understand and address their concerns. By working closely with our partners, suppliers, and staff across numerous departments, we were able to collectively make this biofuel delivery a reality,” he noted.

“Strong support from government agencies such as the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and classification societies to provide sound advice, together with our ability to provide sustainability declarations such as ISCC EU Proof of Sustainability (PoS), made the job much smoother.”

Moving forward, EMF forecasts the future biofuels bunkering landscape at Singapore port to be more vibrant.

“We will be able to witness more biofuel bunker deliveries in Singapore as shown in recent MPA's statistics for biofuel deliveries,” states Mr Choong.

“We will probably see biofuels of various types of feedstocks more readily available to ensure the supply of biofuels continues to meet growing demands.”

Related: Singapore: Bunker fuel sales increase by 7.7% on year in September 2023
Related: Singapore: Equatorial Marine Fuel launches sustainable energy business unit, commits towards multi-fuel future
RelatedSingapore: Equatorial Marine Fuel conducts carbon credit trial with Carbon Management Solutions
RelatedEquatorial Marine Fuel links one third of bunker tanker fleet to SGTraDex in push towards trust & transparency
RelatedSingapore: Equatorial Marine Fuel unveils OTT (Online Tracking Tool) to enhance bunker deliveries

Photo credit: Equatorial Marine Fuel Management Services
Published: 3 November 2023

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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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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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Singapore: GCMD studies FAME biofuel degradation in bunker supply chains

Latest report by GCMD, which tracked quality of FAME and FAME blends across maritime supply chain, found that trials detected no significant degradation of FAME under commercial operations conditions.

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Singapore: GCMD studies FAME biofuel degradation in commercial and storage conditions

The Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation (GCMD) on Tuesday (18 June) announced the release of its latest report,aimed to shed light on its findings from tracking the quality of FAME and FAME blends as they make their way through the supply chains and on consumption onboard vessels.

GCMD said Fatty Acid Methyl Esters (FAME), a readily available biofuel, is gaining attention as an immediate solution to comply with EU and IMO regulations.

FAME use in major bunkering hubs Singapore and Rotterdam has risen from being negligible in 2020 to a combined 1 million metric tonnes (mt) of FAME blends in 2023.

“Unlike conventional marine fuels, FAME-based biofuels can be unstable since its natural oils and fats can slowly oxidise when exposed to atmospheric oxygen,” it said. 

When oxidation happens, FAME can degrade to produce by-products, like peroxides, alcohols, and sludge, all of which can impact engine life and performance. Degradation can also be further accelerated by exposure to water, impurities, contaminants, light, and heat.

The report, titled Tracking the propensity of biofuels degradation across the maritime supply chain, sheds light on a crucial question: Does FAME degrade significantly under actual commercial and storage conditions in the marine supply chains, hindering its potential as a widespread decarbonisation solution?  

Key insights and takeaways

 Encouragingly, GCMD said end-to-end supply chain trials detected no significant degradation of FAME under commercial operations conditions.

“These findings offer strong support for FAME use in the marine fuels supply chain,” it said. 

The report elaborates how the team traced the properties of FAME and FAME blends, and tracked the parameters of FAME quality, namely acid value, viscosity, FAME content, energy content and microbial contamination, of samples at different points along the supply chain to come to this conclusion.

What the report covers

  • Understanding the propensity of degradation of FAME
  • Tracing FAME quality in GCMD’s end-to-end supply chains
  • Understanding the current ISO specifications for FAME quality requirements
  • Contextualising GCMD’s findings per ISO specifications

The report is co-authored by Dr. Prapisala Thepsithar, Director of Projects, and Dr. Sanjay Kuttan, Chief Strategy Officer, at GCMD. 

It has also been reviewed by industry leaders: Dr. Malcolm Cooper, CEO of VPS, Captain Rahul Choudhuri, President, Strategic Partnerships, VPS and Ms. Monique Vermeire, Fuels Technologist at Chevron.

In a social media post, Capt. Rahul Choudhuri, President Strategic Partnerships, said: “VPS is very proud to have supported the Global Centre of Maritime Decarbonization (GCMD) in this vitally important work of understanding the nature of Biofuels Degradation.”

VPS said the biofuels study showed levels of fuel degradation in a real-world environment. Whereas the trials indicated no degradation of the Biofuels over the nominated transportation section & supply to the vessel

Note: The report titled ‘Tracking the propensity of biofuels degradation across the maritime supply chain’ can be found here

 

Photo credit: Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation
Published: 19 June 2024

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FOBAS highlights publication of CIMAC biofuel guidance document

CIMAC WG7 (Fuels) in support of adopting recently published ISO 8217:2024 marine fuel standard, has released a biofuel guidance document and an FAQ document on ISO 8217:2024 standard.

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RESIZED Hans Reniers on Unsplash

Lloyd’s Register Fuel Oil Bunkering Analysis and Advisory Service (FOBAS) on Saturday (15 June) released a bulletin to highlight the publication of a biofuel guidance document by CIMAC WG7 (Fuels) following the recently published ISO 8217:2024 marine fuel standard:

Further to our last bulletin, please note that CIMAC WG7 (Fuels) in support of adopting recently published ISO 8217:2024 marine fuel standard, has released a biofuel guidance document titled ‘Marine fuels containing FAME; A guideline for shipowners and operators’ and an FAQ document on ISO 8217:2024 standard.

The focus of biofuel CIMAC guideline is onboard operations when using blends of FAME (Fatty Acid Methyl Ester) up to B100 i.e., 100% FAME allowed as per ISO 8217:2024. The document has been divided into various sections with detailed commentary on topics such as sustainability, production/specifications of FAME, onboard operational considerations, quality assessment methods outlined in ISO 8217:2024, and finally a short discussion on unestablished and/or recycled biofuels.

The FAQ document on ISO 8217:2024 helps to addresses important questions and changes made compared to the previous versions such as increasing the number of tables from two to four, inclusion of FAME based biofuels and certain test methods etc.

Please note that CIMAC is expected to release a few more documents in coming weeks to support ISO 8217:2024 standard which include ‘Overview and interpretation of total sediment test results in the context of ISO 8217:2024’, ‘Design and operation of fuel cleaning systems for diesel engines’ and ‘The interpretation of marine fuel analysis test results’. 

We intend to issue another bulletin to announce the release of these documents.

Related: FOBAS announces publication of ISO 8217:2024 marine fuel specifications and FAQs
Related: CIMAC Working Group Fuels publishes first of five guidelines supporting release of ISO 8217:2024

 

Photo credit: Hans Reniers on Unsplash
Published: 18 June 2024

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