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BHP, Oldendorff, and GoodFuels complete ocean going trial with biofuel bunkered in Singapore

Global resources company BHP, German shipping company Oldendorff Carriers, and Dutch advanced biofuels pioneer GoodFuels, with the support of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), conducted the first marine biofuel trial involving an ocean-going vessel bunkered in Singapore on April 4, 2021.

BHP, Oldendorff, and GoodFuels have successfully completed the first ocean-going trial with a sustainable marine biofuel that was bunkered in Singapore (photo courtesy BHP).

As part of the trial, the 2020-built 81 290 deadweight tonne (DWT) dry bulk carrier Kira Oldendorff was bunkered with “drop-in” advanced biofuel blended with conventional fossil fuels.

The key objectives of the biofuel bunkering trial include understanding the behaviour of the fuel (such as emissions), assessing engine and vessel operational performance during the trial as well as exploring the technical and commercial merits and challenges of biofuels as a marine fuel.

Singapore is committed to the environmental sustainability of the shipping industry. We welcome interested parties to cooperate on the research, development, and piloting of clean marine fuels in reducing the impact of shipping on the environment said Captain Daknashamoorthy Ganasen, Senior Director Operations and Marine Services at MPA.

The trial will enable BHP to develop an informed strategy on the structural supply and use of biofuels to support BHP’s key shipping routes.

These objectives are in line with BHP’s strategy to assess biofuels as a potential low-carbon fuel of the future, which is an important step in enabling BHP to establish pathways for meeting one of its Scope 3 greenhouse gas (GHG) emission goals for 2030, to support 40 percent emissions intensity reduction of BHP-chartered shipping of its products.

We are delighted to be working with Oldendorff Carriers and GoodFuels, with the support of MPA, to carry out the first biofuel trial involving an ocean-going vessel bunkered here in Singapore. We strive hard to work with our customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders along the value chain to influence emissions reductions across the full life cycle of our products and we fully support moves to decarbonise the maritime industry, said Rashpal Bhatti VP of Maritime at BHP.

The advanced biofuel, supplied by GoodFuels, reduces carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 80-90 percent on a “well-to-exhaust” compared with conventional heavy fuel oil (HFO) and very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) and uses sustainable waste and residue streams as feedstock.

We are very excited about our first expansion into Singapore and the Asian market, especially since we have already identified Singapore as an important hub for many of our customers over the year. This trial marks the start of a process for GoodFuels of facilitating more structural supply of sustainable marine biofuels in Singapore, in a commercial, operational and technically feasible manner, said Isabel Welten, Chief Commercial Officer at GoodFuels.

Oldendorff Carriers chose one of their modern Kamsarmaxes, Kira Oldendorff, for the trial as minor modifications to the vessel were easily carried out to burn the biofuel blend efficiently, and monitoring instruments were installed to capture the trial data as accurately as possible.

Oldendorff Carriers Singapore’s Managing Director, Alex Vajsova-Jones stressed the importance of collaborating with the right partners.

Oldendorff Carriers and BHP’s views on a greener future are mutually aligned and being historically close partners, made this trial a natural fit. GoodFuels are leaders in biofuels and early movers in this segment and felt they were an excellent choice, while MPA is strong supporters of green initiatives and are always instrumental in supporting industry participants in the ‘shipping capital of the world’. We are thrilled to have been selected to participate in this biofuel trial with our close partners and pleased that the bunkering happened in Singapore. It’s a small but necessary step in our common goal to reduce our carbon footprint, said Alex Vajsova-Jones.

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