AUSTRALIAN mining giant BHP has worked with shipping company NYK and energy company GoodFuels for a trial in the use of biofuel to power a bulker vessel.

The NYK dry bulker Frontier Sky did a trial use of biofuel in Europe after the biofuel was bunkered at Rotterdam.

BHP head of strategy and planning Abdes Karimi said they were working with customers, suppliers and others to influence emissions reductions.

“We fully support moves to decarbonise the freight industry, including implementing IMO2020. Biofuels offer an innovative approach to more sustainable bunker fuel,” Mr Karimi said.

“It’s important for us to ensure the biofuel we use is sustainably produced and traceable. This consortium has invented new ways of working that improve productivity and reliability in the bunker fuel supply chain and enable trustful tracking of both the provenance and carbon savings.”

NYK general manager of dry bulk marine quality control Hiroshi Kawaguchi said for shipping to reduce carbon emissions, all available technologies had to play a part.

“Using sustainable marine fuel like biofuel unlocks significant emissions savings that, alongside increased efficiency, a reduction in downtime, and increased optimization through hardware innovation and digitalization, move us towards our science-based GHG reduction targets,” Mr Kawaguchi said.

GoodFuels head of marine Isabel Welten said they wanted to make it easy for vessels to use biofuels to reduce their footprint.

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“By documenting emissions savings and chains of custody, and combining this with smart incentives to use cleaner fuels, we can build a trusted, financially viable pathway towards zero-carbon shipping,” Ms Welten said.

Biofuel is derived from renewable sources, in this case from waste oils such as used cooking oil and are also said to be considered to be carbon-neutral.

In addition, because the emission of sulphur oxides from biofuel is much lower compared with conventional fossil fuel, using biofuels is expected to help meet regulations that take effect in 2020.

According to NYK, blockchain technology was used as part of the trial, notably for the bunkering of biofuel at Rotterdam.

This technology is said to enhance the traceability of marine fuel and provide a chain of custody for better quality assurance in the bunker fuel supply chain.

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