Italy’s d’Amico Group is leading a decarbonisation project to test biofuel blends
Trafigura, ABS, RINA, Lloyd’s Register Fuel Oil Bunker Analysis Service, the Liberian Registry and MAN Energy Solutions are all part of a joint project to test biofuel blends (B30) derived from advanced second-generation feedstock on board a d’Amico LR1 product tanker already in EEDI Phase 2.
The project aims to calculate possible CO2 emissions reduction savings through a ‘lifecycle strategy’, using a well-to-wheel analysis, from raw material acquisition to its burning in ship operations, to compare the performance of biofuels with traditional fossil fuels.
In addition, the project will assess the stability and degradation of the biofuel in relation to storage time and NOx emissions to measure the effects and improvements on EEXI and CII indexes adopted as short-term measures by IMO.
The tests will be undertaken on d’Amico’s vessels Cielo Bianco and Cielo di Rotterdam. Fuel will be supplied by bunkering supply company TFG Marine in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) region.
d’Amico Group believes “the combined strategic vision and technical capabilities of charterers, OEMs, shipowners, fuel suppliers and regulatory bodies will allow us to better exploit, study and scout all options for the decarbonisation of shipping.”
The pre-trial phase of the project began in March 2021 when details of the nature and composition of the biofuel blends were made available and protocols relating to fuel testing, inspections, NOx measurement and the sea trials were established. It was also necessary to prepare the risk assessment, the MOC, to adopt the swap procedures and to develop a consistent crew training programme.
The second phase will see trials on board the vessels and is scheduled later this month in accordance with the planned trade routes of the ships. The trial phase will monitor the behaviour of the main engine, the diesel generators and the boilers in burning the biofuel blend, to evaluate operation, performance, NOx and fuel storage capability.
d’Amico Group chief operating officer, product tankers business unit, Flemming Carlsen said “We are pleased to support and co-operate with industry partners and our client Trafigura in this trial, with the objective to help drive the development of a commercially and environmentally sustainable future fuel solution for the shipping industry.”
Trafigura head of distillate and fuel oil trading Jamie Torrance noted that the commodity giant also has a joint venture marine fuel supply business with Frontline and Golden Ocean and will take an active role in the d’Amico-led project to test the B30 biofuel blend.
From an engine manufacturer’s perspective, MAN director, new technology 2-stroke promotion Kjeld Aabo said the MAN-B&W 2-stroke engines are designed to operate on biofuels.
“Separate biofuel specifications and guidance for fuel treatment on board is followed to make the transition from VLSFO to VLSFU and B30 as smooth as possible” he said.
Post-trial, the reported emissions will be processed and analysed with a particular focus on CO2 and NOx and their effects on the EEXI and CII, according to the existing draft guidelines.
The project is planned to end in mid-July 2021.
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