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MITSUI O.S.K. Lines has completed the first vehicle carrier biofuel bunker operation with TotalEnergies Marine Fuels, a Singapore-based bunkering service.

Heroic Ace was successfully refuelled on 11 June via ship-to-ship transfer in Singapore while the carrier performed cargo operations. The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore supported the operation.

The biofuel used in the trial was a blend of very low sulfur fuel oil and second-generation, waste-based used cooking oil methyl ester.

As part of the trial, the biofuel used was consumed during the carrier’s voyage to Jebel Ali in the United Arab Emirates.

MOL said its initial analysis of the Heroic Ace’s engine and machinery performance demonstrated a high compatibility and safe use of the biofuel onboard the vessel.

Koichi Hirata, general manager of MOL’s car carrier division, said the division has been working on trial usage of biofuel during navigation in the European short haul trade for more than a year.

“Today we are very pleased to announce that we have expanded our actions to the long-haul trades and successfully conducted a milestone voyage together with our valued partner, TotalEnergies.

“We will continue to accelerate efforts towards a low- and de-carbonized vehicle transportation sector and to develop services required by our customers.”

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Laura Ong, TotalEnergies’ general manager of trading and operations for Asia Pacific, said the company is pleased work with the “front runners in green shipping” on the use of sustainable biofuels.

“For TotalEnergies Marine Fuels, we want to develop a sustainable, cost-efficient and low-carbon biofuel solutions for customers across different shipping segments,” Ms Ong said.

“This partnership with MOL has allowed us to build on our amassed biofuels supply chain capabilities and operational success, to deliver this lower-carbon fuel to a new vessel type.”

TotalEnergies and MOL said biofuels can be blended or dropped into conventional fuels with minimal or no technological developments required on vessels, making them an immediate and sustainable option for decarbonising shipping.

More broadly, as part of TotalEnergies’ strategy to produce a new generation of biofuels in transport, it is investing in biofuel projects based on animal fat and used oils, sourcing from the circular economy and limiting the competition for and impact on arable land.

MOL and TotalEnergies said they intend to build their collaborations to explore new joint initiatives that promote the induction of clean, low-carbon alternative fuels.

Both companies have been involved in the co-development of bunker vessels Gas Agility and Gas Vitality for the supply of LNG in North-western Europe and Mediterranean regions.

The companies are also part of a consortium that is working to establish an ammonia fuel supply chain in Singapore.

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