Norden trials GoodFuels drop-in biofuel

Norden trials GoodFuels drop-in biofuel
Image courtesy of GoodFuels Marine

Tanker owner and operator, Norden, and GoodFuels Marine have completed trials of zero emission marine biofuel.

The ‘drop-in’ heavy fuel oil (HFO)-equivalent marine biofuel has been developed following three years of research and development with partners Royal Dutch Boskalis and Wärtsilä. The biofuel delivers near zero emissions of carbon and sulphur oxides (SOx) without any engine modifications.

The trails were carried out on-board Norden’s Nord Highlander in typical commercial operation in the North and Baltic Seas. Hundreds of tonnes of ‘drop-in’ biofuel were fed to the 37,000 DWT product tanker throughout her voyage.

The successful voyage indicates that biofuel could be a possible option for owners and operators in 2020 when the IMO enforces a global 0.5 per cent cap on sulphur emissions. As biofuel emits fewer greenhouse gases (GHG) than conventional fuels, it could also provide a way of meeting the IMO’s target of cutting GHG emissions by 50 per cent by 2050 from the 2008 baseline.

Dirk Kronemeijer, CEO, GoodFuels Marine, commented: “We want to greatly thank Norden for being a pioneer and for joining us as we take this crucial step towards developing a carbon-busting solution that is scalable, truly sustainable, technically compliant and – crucially – affordable. In our journey so far we have focused on realising the widescale use of bio-marine gas oil (MGO) equivalent biofuel, but for over three years we have been working day and night to develop our BFO solution.

“The importance of its arrival in the market is further underlined by the dual prospect of impending lower sulphur and carbon legislation. Bringing this to market now offers shipping a near-zero carbon and SOx alternative to HFO, and VLSFO – 0.5% blended fossil fuel – both of which will be prevalent in the market post-2020. From this point onwards we want to scale supply as fast as we can in order to actively contribute to the world’s 1.5 degree challenge.”

Jan Rindbo, CEO, Norden, added: “Norden is proud to be at the forefront of testing and introducing CO2 neutral fuel that truly makes an impact on the highly important agenda of reducing the carbon footprint of shipping.”

“Now that we have proven CO2 neutral transport as a viable alternative, I am convinced many carbon-conscious customers will demand this type of transport within a foreseeable future.”

Norden and GoodFuels Marine will continue working with each other to gain more experience and scale usage of the fuel as an alternative to HFO.

In 2016, GoodFuels founded The GoodShipping Program to further engage cargo owners in the challenge of combatting shipping’s carbon emissions. In September 2018, the Program announced that five shippers had completely offset the carbon emissions of their cargo by refuelling a vessel with marine biofuels.