A NEW “eco-friendly biofuel” is central to shipping giant Hapag-Lloyd’s efforts to reduce CO2 emissions.

One of its ships, the Montreal Express, recently refuelled in Rotterdam with a new “B20” biofuel.

This fuel consists of 80% low-sulphur fuel oil and 20% biodiesel based on cooking oils and fats that previously had been used in the food service/catering industry.

The biodiesel reportedly generates up to 90% less CO2 emissions than conventional fuels.


“By the end of this year, we want to have reduced our specific CO2 emissions by 50% compared to the reference year 2008,” said Jörg Erdmann, senior director sustainability management.

“Biofuels like B20 can help us reach this target. This is because, in addition to having a low sulphur content, the fuel also emits less climate-damaging CO2 during combustion.”

Hapag-Lloyd plans to use the test run with the Montreal Express, which operates between Europe and Canada, to gain experience and information on the properties of the fuel in real-world use.

“We are checking to see whether the share of biodiesel has any adverse effects on the equipment and the fuel processing on board the vessel,” said Jan Christensen, senior director purchasing and supply at Hapag-Lloyd. “If the test is successful, more ships from Hapag-Lloyd’s fleet could operate using the ‘B20’ fuel in future.”