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Alternative Fuels

Wärtsilä and partners provide update on Zero Emission Energy Distribution at Sea initiative

Matt Duke, CEO, Grieg Maritime Group, and Kenneth Simonsen, senior vice president at Aker Solutions tell Atte Palomäki what the project has achieved and its future plans.




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Maritime technology group Wärtsilä on Tuesday (8 February) published an interview with the Norwegian shipping group Grieg Star and Aker Solutions, a global engineering company, on their carbon-neutral shipping journey while being part of the Zero Emission Energy Distribution at Sea (ZEEDS) initiative.

Matt Duke, CEO, Grieg Maritime Group, and Kenneth Simonsen, senior vice president at Aker Solutions tell Atte Palomäki what the project has achieved and all about its future plans:

What is the ZEEDS initiative aiming to achieve?

Matt: We know that shipping is close to 2- 3% of the world's carbon emissions, which is millions of tonnes of CO2 and it will take teamwork to achieve our goals. There are different industry actors that are invited in to try and solve this challenge together and find the solutions we need as an industry to deliver on our climate ambitions.

What does each player bring to the table?

Kenneth: Starting out, ZEEDS was all about finding the fastest route to zero-emission shipping. All the founding partners of the Wärtsilä initiative bring different things to the table, representing different angles and different skillsets. From an Aker Solutions perspective, we were able to see new solutions, use some new technologies and integrate them into a totality. That's really what we as a supplier bring to the table.

Matt: Our role was to be a ship owner and a ship manager. In many ways, you could say we were sort of there to be the customer who needs to use this new type of fuel. So, I think we were there to evaluate the business viability of these ideas. As the project developed, Grieg has started to use our technology team and our vessel architects to design the sorts of ships that could be viable here. We've been using our business development, while even looking at the production and supply of green fuels.

Atte: We really appreciate how this partnership has given us all a completely new position in the value chain, where co-creating future solutions together is being done in a very effective way – both within the industry and together with governmental bodies. It's given us completely new insights into the market needs and helped us focus on our research and development efforts. So, this really speeds up the new green solutions entering the market.

For a new clean energy supply ecosystem and ships operating on emission-free fuels, we need to scale up clean and green energy production. When will we see the first concrete results of the ZEEDs initiative?

Matt: We believe that there are huge possibilities with hydrogen and ammonia, but they aren't actually fully tested yet as proven ship fuels. There are many aspects to solve this, but one of them is to be bold and try. Together with Wärtsilä, we're designing the world's first green-ammonia fuelled tank ship for ammonia transportation, where we use green ammonia both as a fuel, but also as the cargo. We're planning on launching that ship in 2024 and we think that's a concrete way to prove our ideas. We will show that it is a viable fuel.

One idea stemming from ZEEDs is this string of pearls of clean energy hubs to supply shipping with fuel, which could be a potential answer to a huge global problem. If it succeeds, it could possibly be a real game changer for the industry. How can this vision come to life?

Kenneth: There are several technology pieces that need to be tested at scale, including the production of ammonia, the relative costs of existing fuel types and the fact that the current vessel fleet is based on heavy oil. It will just require some time.  There will be a transition phase beyond technology and we will need to see the cost of hydrocarbons or emissions increasing to make it commercially viable.

How have so many different players pooled together without this leading to a ‘too many cooks’ scenario?

Matt: When the team is working together with ZEEDs, they feel like they are part of the same team working towards the same goal. They understand that different actors have different interests but at the end of the day, we're all in it for the same reason, which is to try and make a difference to deliver on the purpose of accelerating the journey to zero emissions. That in itself is a very, very powerful thing to get people to work well together.

What is the right balance of responsibility between companies and policymakers in public-private partnerships?

Kenneth: I think private companies, both small and large, will be part of the solution. We have so many strong engineers and operators across these companies and they will be part of the solution. But we need to strike a balance between the authorities and the private sector. As an example, one of the institutions providing funds to the ZEEDS initiative was indeed the Nordic Council. That's because we have companies involved representing all of the Nordic countries spearheading technologies here. Therefore, this is a super exciting balance between companies and authorities.

Other partners in the ZEEDS project include a global engineering company, Equinor, a multinational energy company, DFDS and Kværner, a leading engineering, procurement and construction company.


Photo credit and source: Wärtsilä Corporation
Published: 9 February, 2022

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Singapore: EPS orders its first wind-assisted propulsion system for tanker

Firm signed a contract for its first ever wind-assisted propulsion system, partnering with bound4blue to install three 22-metre eSAILs® onboard “Pacific Sentinel”.





Singapore: EPS orders its first wind-assisted propulsion system for tanker

Singapore-based Eastern Pacific Shipping (EPS) on Thursday (22 February) said it signed a contract for its first ever wind-assisted propulsion system, partnering with bound4blue to install three 22-metre eSAILs® onboard the Pacific Sentinel

The turnkey ‘suction sail’ technology, which drags air across an aerodynamic surface to generate exceptional propulsive efficiency, will be fitted later this year, helping the 183-metre, 50,000 DWT oil and chemical tanker reduce overall energy consumption by approximately 10%, depending on vessel routing.

Suitable for both newbuilds and retrofit projects, the system delivers energy efficiency and cost savings for a broad range of vessels, regardless of their size and age.

Singapore: EPS orders its first wind-assisted propulsion system for tanker

José Miguel Bermudez, CEO and co-founder at bound4blue, said: “Signing an agreement with an industry player of the scale and reputation of EPS not only highlights the growing recognition of wind-assisted propulsion as a vital solution for maximising both environmental and commercial benefits, but also underscores the confidence industry leaders have in our proven technology.”

“It’s exciting to secure our first contract in Singapore, particularly with EPS, a company known for both its business success and its environmental commitment.”

“We see the company as a role model for shipping in that respect. As such this is a milestone development, one that we hope will pave the way for future installations across EPS’ fleet, further solidifying our presence in the region.”

Cyril Ducau, Chief Executive Officer at EPS, said: “EPS is committed to exploring and implementing innovative solutions that improve energy efficiency and reduce emissions across our fleet.” 

“Over the past six years, our investments in projects including dual fuel vessels, carbon capture, biofuels, voyage optimisation technology and more have allowed us to reduce our emissions intensity by 30% and achieve an Annual Efficiency Ratio (AER) of 3.6 CO2g/dwt-mile in 2023, outperforming our emission intensity targets ahead of schedule. The addition of the bound4blue groundbreaking wind assisted propulsion will enhance our efforts on this path to decarbonise.”

“With this project, we are confident that the emission reductions gained through eSAILs® on Pacific Sentinel will help us better evaluate the GHG reduction potential of wind assisted propulsion on our fleet in the long run.”

Pacific Sentinel will achieve a ‘wind assisted’ notation from class society ABS once the eSAILs® are installed. 


Photo credit: Eastern Pacific Shipping
Published: 23 February, 2024

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LNG Bunkering

Galveston LNG Bunker Port joins SEA-LNG coalition

SEA-LNG said move will further enhance its LNG supply infrastructure expertise and global reach, while giving GLBP access to the latest LNG pathway research and networking opportunities.





Galveston LNG Bunker Port joins SEA-LNG coalition

Galveston LNG Bunker Port (GLBP), a joint-venture between Seapath Group, one of the maritime subsidiaries of the Libra Group, and Pilot LNG, LLC (Pilot), a Houston-based clean energy solutions company, has joined SEA-LNG, according to the latter on Wednesday (21 February). 

SEA-LNG said the move will further enhance its LNG supply infrastructure expertise and global reach, while giving GLBP access to the latest LNG pathway research and networking opportunities.

GLBP was announced in September 2023 and will develop, construct and operate the US Gulf Coast’s first dedicated facility supporting the fuelling of LNG-powered vessels, expected to be operational late-2026.

The shore-based LNG liquefaction facility will be located on Shoal Point in Texas City, part of the greater Houston-Galveston port complex, one of the busiest ports in the USA. This is a strategic location for cruise ship LNG bunkering in US waters, as well as for international ship-to-ship bunkering and cool-down services. GLBP will offer cost-effective turn-key LNG supply solutions to meet growing demand for the cleaner fuel in the USA and Gulf of Mexico.

Jonathan Cook, Pilot CEO, said: “With an initial investment of approximately $180 million, our LNG bunkering facility will supply a vital global and U.S. trade corridor with cleaner marine fuel. We recognise that SEA-LNG is a leading partner and a key piece of the LNG bunkering sector, and will give us access to insights and expertise across the entire LNG supply chain.

“LNG supports environmental goals and human health by offering ship operators immediate reductions in CO2 emissions and virtually eliminating harmful local emissions of sulphur oxides (SOx), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter.”

President of Seapath, Joshua Lubarsky, said: “We are very pleased to be supporting the decarbonization of the maritime industry through strategic, and much needed, investments into the supply of alternative fuels.  We are also happy to be a part of SEA-LNG which has done a wonderful job in advocating for advancements in technology in this vital sector.”

Chairman of SEA-LNG Peter Keller, said: “We’re proud to welcome another leading LNG supplier to the coalition and are looking forward to a mutually beneficial relationship. With every investment in supply infrastructure in the US and worldwide, the LNG pathway’s head start increases. Global availability, alongside bio-LNG and e-LNG development, makes LNG the practical and realistic route to maritime decarbonisation.

“All alternative fuels exist on a pathway from grey, fossil-based fuels to green, bio or renewable fuels. Green fuels represent a scarce resource and many have scalability issues, so we must start our net-zero journey today with grey fuels. LNG is the only grey fuel that reduces greenhouse gas emissions, well-to-wake, so you need less green fuel than alternatives to improve emissions performance.”


Photo credit: SEA-LNG
Published: 23 February, 2024

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VARO and Orim Energy to supply bio bunker fuels in ARA region

VARO will source, produce and blend various waste and advanced bio feedstocks to high quality bunker fuel specs; Orim will source fuel and gas oils for blending and deliver final biofuel blends to vessels.





VARO and Orim Energy to supply bio bunker fuels in ARA region

VARO Energy (VARO) on Wednesday (21 February) said it is partnering with Orim Energy (Orim) to provide shipping customers in the Port of Rotterdam – and wider Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) region - with biofuels. 

The agreement supports the decarbonisation of maritime transportation and inland shipping in Northern Europe. It also contributes to the wider targets set by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to reduce the total annual GHG emissions from shipping by at least 20% by 2030 and at least 70% by 2050, compared with 2008 levels.

Current demand for Fuel Oil in ARA , Europe’s largest bunkering hub, is approximately 14 million tonnes per year. Supported by new EU regulations, the market for B30, a blend of 70% Fuel Oil and 30% biofuels, is expected to grow rapidly to the end of the decade. As a result of this joint initiative, VARO and Orim will be well positioned to meet this increased demand and support the decarbonisation plans of their shipping customers.

VARO’s biofuels trading capabilities and growing biofuel manufacturing asset base will complement Orim’s extensive distribution, storage and bunkering capabilities in ARA. Under the agreement, VARO will source, produce and blend various waste and advanced bio feedstocks to high quality bunker specifications. Orim will source the fuel and gas oils for blending and deliver the final biofuel blends to customers’ vessels.

VARO has a long track record of providing biofuels for maritime logistics. Since 2018, the company has supplied the Port of Rotterdam with HVO100 (100% Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil “HVO”) for use with the Port’s service fleet. In 2023 VARO signed an agreement with Höegh Autoliners to supply the company with 100% advanced biofuels for its shipping fleet.

The partnership is aligned with VARO’s strategy to become the partner of choice for customers in the energy transition by providing them with the low-carbon energy solutions they need to decarbonise.

Dev Sanyal, CEO of VARO, said: “Meeting rising demand for blended biofuels is critical to achieving the EU and IMO’s decarbonisation targets for shipping. Our experience in biofuels, combined with Orim’s logistics and bunkering operations, will help meet this demand at Rotterdam, Europe’s largest port facility. I am delighted to be entering into a strategic partnership with Orim and to further build on VARO’s long-established presence in Rotterdam. This is another step in our journey to enable the decarbonisation of the maritime sector.

Edwin Coppens, Managing Director of Orim, said: “Upcoming EU and IMO regulations drive the need to scale up with biofuels and ensure quality assurance going forward. Partnering with VARO allows us to do just that, using each other’s strengths to optimize our blending expertise and network. We will benefit from VARO’s extensive experience with biofuels, which includes joint testing with leading ship engine suppliers. Together, we can increase our sourcing and supply capabilities, extending our reach and further strengthening our position in the ARA region.”


Photo credit: VARO Energy
Published: 23 February, 2024

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