ExxonMobil has completed a successful sea trial of the company’s first marine biofuel oil with shipping company Stena Bulk, bunkered in the Port of Rotterdam
The marine biofuel oil is a sulphur cap-compliant very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) processed with a second-generation waste-based FAME component (ISCC certified). It will be available later this year, first in Rotterdam, before a wider launch across ExxonMobil’s port network.
The company said the trial demonstrated that biofuel can be used in a relevant marine application without modification and can help operators move towards meeting their carbon emissions reduction targets.
ExxonMobil added that the biofuel oil is a residual fuel, and can be used without the need for expensive modification. Operators are expected to see CO2 emissions savings of up to 40% compared with conventional marine fuel.
ExxonMobil Marine Fuels marketing manager Cowan Lee said the new marine biofuel oil meets the industry’s growing need for a reliable, ISO-compliant fuel.
Mr Lee said “As operators face increasingly stringent regulations and significant pressure from customers to demonstrate their commitment to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, this is an important next step in providing the lower-emissions fuels that operators want and need.”
The sea trial was undertaken with tanker operator Stena Bulk, OEMs, the vessel’s classification society and flag state. And the trial was designed and completed as part of ExxonMobil’s assessment and trial protocol to demonstrate there were no adverse equipment effects when operating with higher levels of bio components.
The sea trial was carried out while the vessel was in commercial operation and included evaluation of onboard storage, handling, and treatment. The fuel was consumed in engines and other machinery on board.
Stena Bulk chief executive Erik Hånell said the company believes biofuels have an important role to play in accelerating the reduction of GHG emissions in shipping. Earlier this year the company conducted a successful biofuel bunkering trial at the Port of Rotterdam.
“The development of ExxonMobil’s biofuel is an important step towards a broader commercial use of low-carbon fuels and we were happy to be part of the sea trial, which proved to be very successful,” Mr Hånell said.
“The fuel performed very well and fitted seamlessly into our technical and commercial operation without the need for engine modifications or additional procedures, while contributing to a significant reduction of CO2 emissions.”
Stena Bulk plans to offer its customers low-carbon shipping options. The options will range from 20% to 100% biofuels and will be based on an offsetting programme where the biofuel is used within the Stena Bulk fleet allowing customers to use low-carbon options regardless of fuel availability on a specific route.
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