RESOURCES company BHP, Oldendorff Carriers and biofuels specialist GoodFuels together conducted the first marine biofuel trial involving an ocean-going vessel, which bunkered in Singapore last week.

As part of the trial, which was supported by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, the 2020-built 81,290-deadweight-tonne dry bulk carrier Kira Oldendorff was refuelled with biofuel blended with conventional fossil fuels.

The key objectives of the biofuel bunkering trial include understanding the behaviour of the fuel (such as emissions), assessing engine and vessel operational performance during the trial, as well as exploring the technical and commercial merits and challenges of biofuels as a marine fuel.

The trial is to enable the project partners to develop an informed strategy on the structural supply and use of biofuels to support BHP’s key shipping routes.

Oldendorff Carriers chose Kira Oldendorff for the trial as appropriate modifications to the vessel were easily carried out to burn the biofuel blend efficiently. Monitoring instruments were installed to capture the trial data as accurately as possible.

Oldendorff Carriers Singapore managing director Alexander Vajsova-Jones said it is important to collaborate with the right partners on such projects.

“Oldendorff Carriers and BHP’s views on a greener future are mutually aligned and being historically close partners, it made this trial a natural fit GoodFuels are leaders in biofuels and early movers in this segment and felt they were an excellent choice, while MPA are strong supporters of green initiatives and are always instrumental in supporting industry participants in the ‘shipping capital of the world’,” Mr Vajsova-Jones said.

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“We are thrilled to have been selected to participate in this biofuel trial with our close partners, and pleased that the bunkering happened in Singapore. It’s a small but necessary step in our common goal to reduce our carbon footprint.”

MPA senior director (operations and marine services) Captain Daknashamoorthy Ganasen said: “Singapore is committed to the environmental sustainability of the shipping industry. We welcome interested parties to cooperate on the research, development and piloting of clean marine fuels in reducing the impact of shipping on the environment.”

BHP vice-president of maritime Rashpal Bhatti said: “We are delighted to be working with Oldendorff Carriers and GoodFuels, with the support of MPA, to carry out the first biofuel trial involving an ocean-going vessel bunkered here in Singapore.”

According to a statement from the companies, the biofuel supplied by GoodFuels reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 80-90% well-to-exhaust compared with HFO/VLSFO. The biofuel uses sustainable waste and residue streams as feedstock.

GoodFuels chief commercial officer Isabel Welten said the trial marks the start of a process for the company of facilitating more structural supply of sustainable marine biofuels in Singapore in a commercial, operational and technically feasible manner.

“We are very excited about our first expansion into Singapore and the Asian market, especially since we have already identified Singapore as an important hub for many of our customers over the year,” Ms Welten said.

GoodFuels has participated in another trial with Stolt Tankers in Rotterdam.

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