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BMW Group joins UECC and GoodShipping in further biofuel trials

Short-sea roll-on roll-off (ro-ro) owner and operator United European Car Carriers (UECC) and the GoodShipping Program have now partnered with premium car manufacturer BMW Group to continue to test marine BioFuel Oil (BFO) on UECC’s ro-ro car carrying vessels.

Short-sea roll-on roll-off (ro-ro) owner and operator United European Car Carriers (UECC) and the GoodShipping Program have now partnered with premium car manufacturer BMW Group to continue to test marine BioFuel Oil (BFO) on UECC’s ro-ro car carrying vessels (photo courtesy GoodShipping).

BMW Group joins UECC and the GoodShipping Program in the previously announced trial, where BFO is being tested on UECC’s 140 m, 2 080-vehicle carrier M/V Autosky.

Sea transportation and logistics play an important role in the BMW Group, which has production sites and vehicle distribution processes worldwide. When considering the carbon impact across the entire value chain of a car, the participation in this three-month trial is a meaningful and immediate means to reduce the carbon dioxide (CO2) footprint of BMW Group’s transport logistics processes.

By covering the fuel premium for a biofuel volume corresponding to BMW Group’s freight that will be shipped on the Autosky during the trial period, BMW Group will be able to claim a CO2 emission reduction of 80 to 90 percent for these shipments, totaling more than 400 tonnes of carbon.

According to UECC, this is a “significant and important step” towards achieving a carbon-neutral supply chain for BMW and is the core aim of the GoodShipping Program, which enables cargo owners to reduce their environmental footprint. BMW Group’s participation in the project contributes to enabling the continuation of biofuel deliveries to UECC after the trial period.

At UECC, we want to support our customers and enable them to make proactive, conscious choices about their cargo transportation. BMW Group’s participation to continue our trial on our ro-ro vessel M/V Autosky should, therefore, signal to the automotive sector that the means to decarbonise are readily available and that our vessels are equipped to meet this most important of challenges for the shipping industry, said Daniel Gent, Energy and Sustainability Manager, UECC.

GoodFuels BFO

The first volume of biofuel was delivered to M/V Autosky on March 16, 2020, in the Port of Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The trial will see subsequent further refueling operations between March and July 2020. M/V Autosky is currently testing BFO on the route between Zeebrugge, Belgium, and Santander, Spain.

The BFO – derived from used cooking oil (UCO), the BFO being used for this trial was supplied by the leading biofuel company GoodFuels. The marine biofuel ‘drops in’ to normal fuel tanks, is virtually sulphur oxide (SOx) free and delivers 80 to 90 percent well-to-exhaust CO2 reduction versus fossil equivalents.

In March 2020, United European Car Carriers (UECC) and GoodFuels announced the launch of a joint trial of GoodFuels BioFuel Oil (MR1-100 or BFO) on UECC’s ro-ro vessel M/V Autosky. The three-month trial will test 3 000 tonnes of sustainable biofuel on the 140 m, 2 080 vehicle carrier (photo courtesy UECC).

The joint trial proves that the means to reduce the carbon footprint of transporting goods and vehicles around the world already exist on the market and that second-generation advanced biofuels can be scaled to meet this demand.

With this scalability, marine biofuel effectively allows shipowners and operators to comply with both new legislation around sulphur content for marine fuels, as well as future regulations on carbon reduction by 2030 and 2050.

Meaningful emissions reduction

The GoodShipping Program requires shippers to commit to a reduction in their sea freight CO2 emissions. The initiative works on the premise that, as all CO2 from shipping is emitted into the same atmosphere, the means of mitigating these emissions is equally impactful, regardless of which vessels adopt biofuels over traditional bunker fuels – or the amount of ‘drop-in’ biofuel that is added to the fuel tank, as long as it offsets the CO2 costs of transporting participating shippers’ cargo.

We are delighted to have BMW Group join us for continuing this pioneering trial of marine biofuel within the ro-ro segment. Transportation logistics have a huge carbon impact, so the leadership shown by BMW Group to proactively take steps to decarbonise – and recognise that solutions are available – should act as a call for others in the sector to join us on this journey, said Anniek Sluis, Growth Captain, The GoodShipping Program.

The calculation of the original CO2 footprint and the expected Scope Three emission reductions for BMW Group were made in line with the GLEC Framework, a universal method for calculating logistics emissions developed by the non-profit Smart Freight Centre.

In the following months, further options for continuing marine biofuel uptake within the ro-ro segment will be pursued.

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