Leading short-sea roll-on roll-off (ro-ro) operator United European Car Carriers (UECC) and sustainable marine biofuel pioneer GoodFuels have 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, 2080 vehicle carrier – seen as a "significant step" in advancing marine biofuel for the ro-ro segment.
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Founded in 1990, United European Car Carriers (UECC) is a leading short-sea operator and logistics provider for the transportation of cars, vans and high and heavy cargo in Europe. With a fleet of about 20 purpose-built vessels, UECC is jointly owned by Japan-headed Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK) and Sweden headed Wallenius Lines.
The bio-bunkering, which will take place in the Port of Rotterdam, the Netherlands will be the first in a series of bunkering operations between March and May 2020. M/V Autosky will test GoodFuel’s BFO on its normal route between Zeebrugge, Belgium and Santander, Spain and is expected to result in a reduction of over 6 500 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions on a well-to-wake basis.
Compliance with IMO 2020
The announcement comes at a time when the industry is under increasing scrutiny to improve its sustainability and move towards decarbonisation. With scalability, sustainable marine biofuel effectively allows shipowners and operators to comply with both the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) 2020 0.50 sulphur cap, as well as future regulations on carbon reduction by 2030 and 2050.
At UECC, we pride ourselves on supporting sustainable solutions to the issues that our planet faces. We are excited to play a leading role in accelerating sustainable biofuel uptake for the ro-ro segment. This agreement demonstrates our commitment to reducing the carbon footprint of our existing tonnage and further complements the emissions reductions on our existing LNG fleet, as well as our LNG battery hybrid newbuilds, said Daniel Gent, Energy and Sustainability Manager.
GoodFuels’ BFO is the first-ever residual fuel-equivalent biofuel, requiring no changes to marine engines. The biofuel ‘drops in’ to normal fuel tanks, virtually eliminating CO2 and substantially reducing sulphur (SOx) emissions. Due to the absence of sulphur, BioFuel Oil can also be used to replace distillate fuels.
Following the trial period, UECC and GoodFuels will explore further options for continuing marine biofuel uptake within the ro-ro segment.
We are proud to be bunkering sustainable marine Bio-Fuel Oil on M/V Autosky, kicking off the first use of low-carbon fuels with our friends and partners at UECC. This trial will help UECC to further prove the applicability and technical suitability of biofuels for the ro-ro segment. Importantly, we also want to prove to leading car manufacturers that biofuels are a great way to immediately decarbonise their cargo and help change the sector for the better, said Isabel Welten, CCO, GoodFuels.