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CBH leads Australia-first biofuel trial on sustainable barley shipment

Co-operative Bulk Handling Ltd (CBH Group), Australia’s largest co-operative and a leader in the Australian grain industry has announced that it has partnered with leading dry bulk operator Germany-headed Oldendorff Carriers to conduct the first biofuel trial on a grain vessel exporting from Australia.

Co-operative Bulk Handling Ltd (CBH Group) has partnered with leading dry bulk operator Oldendorff Carriers to conduct the first biofuel trial on a grain vessel exporting from Australia (photo courtesy Jan Mengel).

CBH Marketing and Trading is shipping 30 000 tonnes of sustainably certified malting barley aboard the Edwine Oldendorff, which departed from the Albany Grain Terminal, Albany, Western Australia (WA) bound for Vietnam on January 9, 2022.

The vessel has been bunkered with a biofuel blend for the trial, supplied by integrated energy company bp. The biofuel blend is estimated to produce about 15 percent less greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for this journey than conventional fossil fuels.

CBH Chief Marketing and Trading Officer Jason Craig said the co-operative was proud to be pioneering efforts, alongside two of its global partners, to explore ways to reduce its carbon footprint along the supply chain.

Customers across the world are increasingly seeking to source sustainable products, including sustainable grain. It is our role, as Australia’s leading grain exporter, to take the necessary steps to lower carbon emissions along our supply chain. Biofuel is one low-carbon option that could be part of the solution to reducing emissions in the shipping industry, Jason Craig said.

ISCC-certified grain cargo

The malting barley, which is accredited as sustainable under the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC) program, is set for Vietnam’s leading malting company, Intermalt.

Intermalt services a number of brewing customers, the largest being Heineken, which has set a target of a carbon-neutral value chain by 2040.

We need to meet the growing market demand for sustainable or carbon-reduced grain by being proactive, practical and adapting. By doing this, we are making sure we can continue to keep our WA growers competitive. We are excited to be working alongside our key global partners to conduct this trial, which will provide valuable information and help pave the way for a more sustainable grain industry, Jason Graig said.

The trial will provide information on how the vessel engine responds to biofuel, its speed, and efficiency, and measure the emissions it produces.

We are very pleased to be collaborating with industry leader CBH to trial biofuel in our vessel, Edwine Oldendorff. Collaboration is crucial for us all to learn and share information about the best paths in our efforts to decarbonize the supply chain, said Ben Harper Managing Director at Oldendorff Carriers Melbourne

The CBH Group is Australia’s largest co-operative and a leader in the Australian grain industry, with operations extending along the value chain from fertilizer to grain storage, handling, transport, marketing, and processing.

In 2020-21, CBH sold 1.2 million tonnes of sustainably certified grain and reduced Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions on a per tonne basis by 38 percent from the previous year.

Our increased focus on sustainability means our co-op will remain strong for future generations and Western Australian growers are well placed to meet future market expectations, Jason Craig ended.

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