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BHP, NYK, GoodFuels and BLOC collaborate to push biofuel bunkering in Port of Rotterdam

On January 30, the dry bulk carrier Frontier Sky owned by Japan-headed shipping major Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK) conducted a trial use of marine biofuel in Europe after the biofuel was bunkered at the Port of Rotterdam, Netherlands. The trial was performed in collaboration with global mining company BHP, sustainable biofuel company GoodFuels and Blockchain Labs for Open Collaboration (BLOC) a leading developer of blockchain applications for the maritime industry.

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On January 30, 2019, NYK’s Frontier Sky conducted a trial use of marine biofuel in Europe after the biofuel was bunkered at the Port of Rotterdam, Netherlands. The trial was performed in collaboration with BHP, GoodFuels and Blockchain Labs for Open Collaboration (BLOC) a developer of blockchain applications for the maritime industry (photo courtesy BLOC).

The advanced biofuel, supplied by Netherlands-based GoodFuels via logistics partner Varo Energy, is a ‘drop-in’ marine gas-oil (MGO) equivalent and was blended with conventional fossil-based MGO in a mix of 30 percent biofuel to 70 percent conventional MGO.

We want to make it as easy as possible for vessels to use biofuels to reduce their footprint. By documenting emissions savings and chains of custody, and combining this with smart incentives to use cleaner fuels, we can build a trusted, financially viable pathway towards zero-carbon shipping, said Isabel Welten, Head of Marine, GoodFuels.

BHP has worked with GoodFuels to explore the use of sustainable, advanced, second-generation biofuels for shipping. A vital part of this is the inclusion of solutions to verify chains of custody, and that only sustainably produced biofuels are used in the process and that the origin, emission reductions, and fuel quality metrics are traceable and transparent.

We recognise we have a stewardship role, working with our customers, suppliers and others along the value chain to influence emissions reductions across the full life cycle of our products. We fully support moves to decarbonise the freight industry, including implementing IMO2020, said Abdes Karimi, Head of Strategy and Planning at BHP.

BLOC chain-of-custody

The solution was provided by BLOC’s initiative Maritime Blockchain Labs and developed together in a consortium led by BLOC and funded by Lloyd’s Register Foundation.

We’re building on an earlier trial undertaken in September and are moving towards validating an important decarbonisation pathway with blockchain technology. We are further testing the prototype in a real world setting to capture the biofuel delivery from BHP and to create a complete digital audit trail, with extended functionality for biofuels and emissions tracking. This is an important demonstration of how blockchain technology could play a role in creating a global, trusted MRV system, and build the trust necessary for broader adoption of cleaner fuels both in terms of meeting 2020 sulphur cap requirements and the IMO’s 2050 decarbonisation goal, said Deanna MacDonald, CEO, BLOC.

The consortium aims to create an inclusive support system that enhances marine fuel traceability and provides a clear chain of custody for better quality assurance in the bunker fuel supply chain.

Biofuels offer an innovative approach to more sustainable bunker fuel. It’s important for us to ensure the biofuel we use is sustainably produced and traceable. This consortium has invented new ways of working that improve productivity and reliability in the bunker fuel supply chain and enable trustful tracking of both the provenance and carbon savings. It demonstrates an effective model for the whole industry to build on in the future, said Karimi.

50 percent reduction by 2050

NYK’s medium-term management plan includes the group’s intent to integrate environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives into management strategy by establishing new medium- to long-term environmental targets.

NYK’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets are 30 percent per tonne-kilometer by 2030 compared with a 2015 base year, and 50 percent per tonne-kilometer by 2050 compared with the same base year. These targets have been recognized as science-based by the international Science-Based Targets (SBT) initiative.

For shipping to reduce its carbon emissions, we need to ensure that we are exploring how all available technologies can play a part. Using sustainable marine fuel like biofuel unlocks significant emissions savings that, alongside increased efficiency, a reduction in downtime, and increased optimization through hardware innovation and digitalization, move us towards our science-based GHG reduction targets, said Hiroshi Kawaguchi, General Manager of the Dry Bulk Marine Quality Control Group at NYK.

To achieve these goals, NYK continues to team up with partners and promote the use of environment-friendly marine fuels such as biofuel and LNG fuel.

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