MARINE biofuels will be made available at CentrePort Wellington under a long-term supply agreement between bp Marine and StraitNZ.

StraitNZ operates the Bluebridge Cook Strait Ferries that transport freight and passengers between Wellington and Picton.

bp plans to supply marine fuels (including bio-VLSFO) using a bunker barge at the port of Wellington from early 2024.

Global head of bp Marine Eddie Gauci said the supply of biofuels would be a first for the port of Wellington.

“bp is making a major investment across our Wellington Terminal network, in preparation for the introduction of marine biofuel blends,” he said.

“Biofuels have a vital role in decarbonising transport, including in the marine sector.”

“We are thrilled to be working with StraitNZ because they want to play their part in helping the world get to net zero by decarbonising their fleet, and with the marine biofuel blend bp will be supplying, we can help them do that.”

CentrePort chief executive Anthony Delaney welcomed the announcement as a major shift in alternative fuel sources becoming available for StraitNZ and other shipping lines.

“This is a first for the capital and represents a positive opportunity for CentrePort, making us an even more attractive destination for current and future customers,” Mr Delaney said.

“It also aligns with our energy journey, where we’re doing more to focus on lowering emissions in the supply chain.

“That focus includes improvements like installing shore power at King’s Wharf to reduce ferry emissions and the Seaview energy project, which is working to future-proof Seaview Wharf and make it fit for both alternative fuels and the different types of ships that will use them.”

CentrePort said it is working with bp on its plans to make marine biofuels available in 2024. Planning is in the early stages.

“We’re pleased to be at the forefront of making marine biofuels available in Wellington,” Mr Delaney said.

“This will ensure CentrePort continues to be New Zealand’s busiest port as different ships are expected to come to port based on what we have to offer.”

StraitNZ CEO Shane McMahon also welcomed the announcement.

“The opportunity to source biofuels to power Bluebridge’s Cook Strait Ferries is exciting progress on our journey towards a more sustainable offering for our Cook Strait services.”