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Volkswagen Group Logistics selects GoodFuels BFO for low-carbon shipping

GoodFuels, the leading marine biofuels supplier for the global maritime industry, and auto manufacturer Volkswagen Group have recently announced another major step for sustainable shipping in the carrier segment. The Depth RoRo carrier Patara was bunkered with 100 percent GoodFuels’ Bio-Fuel Oil (MR1-100 or BFO) at Vlissingen, the Netherlands to reduce the vessel’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by a minimum of 85 percent, and all SOx emissions on its voyages with Volkswagen Group’s cargo.

Volkswagen Group Logistics (VGL) has partnered with GoodFuels on the supply of biofuel oil (BFO) for its two European car carrier vessels. For European shipments, Volkswagen Group Logistics continuously charters two vessels that carry up to 3 500 vehicles on a route from Emden in Germany via Dublin (Ireland), Santander (Spain), and Setubal (Portugal) back to Emden about 50 times per annum (graphic courtesy Volkswagen Group).

Volkswagen Group Logistics (VGL) has committed to using certified renewable fuel, made from used cooking oil (UCO) and other certified feedstocks classed as waste or residue, for certain new car shipments via marine routes.

For European shipments, VGL continuously charters two vessels that carry up to 3 500 vehicles on a route from Emden in Germany via Dublin (Ireland), Santander (Spain), and Setubal (Portugal) back to Emden about 50 times per annum.

In the course of their journeys, the two vessels carry about 250 000 new vehicles of the AUDI, SEAT, ŠKODA, Volkswagen Passenger Cars, and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles brands annually.

The company has partnered with leading biofuels innovator GoodFuels that supplied its unique marine bio-fuel oil (BFO).

Bunker 100 percent BFO

GoodFuels specializes in what is known in the industry as supplying B100 – a cost-effective, 100 percent fossil-free alternative for conventional fossil fuels. In this way, GoodFuels is currently one of the few options in the world to run fossil-free operations.

BFO ‘drops in’ to normal fuel tanks, meaning no hardware changes to the existing engine or fuel infrastructure are needed to realize an instant emissions reduction.

The two freighter vessels are both 180 meters long and are powered by a MAN marine diesel with more than 19 000 PS (14.22 MW). In the future, the two vessels ships are to be refueled at sea off the coast of Vlissingen, with alternative fuel supplied by GoodFuels.

This way, the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of the two conventional vessels along their route will be reduced by more than 85 percent – from over 60 000 to about 9 000 tonnes per annum while sulphur oxide (SOx) emissions will almost be completely avoided.

First bunkering completed

The first car freighter, Depth RoRo carrier Patara, was bunkered in mid-November 2020, with 100 percent GoodFuels’ BFO at Vlissingen, the Netherlands before setting off on its voyages between Emden and, Dublin, Santander, and Setubal reducing the vessel’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by a minimum of 85 percent, and all SOx emissions.

The second vessel is due to follow at the beginning of 2021.

We are the first automaker to make widespread use of this fuel. This way, we reuse waste oil in an environmentally compatible way. With 85 percent lower CO2 emissions than with conventional fossil fuels, the contribution to climate protection is enormous, said Thomas Zernechel, Head of Volkswagen Group Logistics.

For GoodFuels, this partnership with Volkswagen Group underlines its ambition to become the leading sustainable fuel supplier for the deep sea segment, and further positions sustainable marine biofuels as a prime solution in accelerating shipping’s decarbonisation puzzle in the next decade.

We are extremely proud that a global brand like Volkswagen Group Logistics has sustainable shipping at the forefront of its operations, and is supporting our mission as an impact company to accelerate the energy transition in heavy transport. By partnering with Volkswagen Group Logistics, we are showcasing that sustainable biofuels are a scalable, truly sustainable, technically compliant, affordable, and market-ready solution. The coming years are going to be momentous in terms of our decarbonisation journey, so we want to continue working with the market leaders to help make a real difference, said Isabel Welten, Chief Commercial Officer at GoodFuels.

Looking ahead, further options for upscaling the usage of marine biofuel as an alternative to fossil fuels within the RoRo segment will be pursued by GoodFuels.

Part of a Group-wide decarbonization strategy

The announcement comes at a time when the shipping industry is under increasing pressure to comply with environmental regulatory changes and reduce the environmental impact of funnel emissions.

For Volkswagen Group, its commitment to decarbonize includes applying a range of measures for sustainable logistics across the organization. Partnering with GoodFuels on the supply of BFO is part of a strategy to make Group Logistics even greener.

Another element is the use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to power ocean-going car freighters. These vessels travel between Europe, North America, and Latin America.

Furthermore, all rail shipments in Germany with DB Cargo are being changed over to renewable power.

This way, Volkswagen Group Logistics is helping the Group achieve net carbon neutrality by 2050, said Thomas Zernechel.

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