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After having announced their three month biofuel trial, leading short sea shipowner UECC and the GoodShipping Program have now partnered with premium car manufacturer BMW Group to continue to test marine Bio Fuel Oil (BFO) on UECC’s ‘roll on, roll off’ (ro-ro) car carrying vessels. BMW Group joins UECC and the GoodShipping Program in the previously announced trial, where BFO is being tested on UECC’s 140m, 2,080-vehicle carrier M/V Autosky.
By covering the fuel premium for a biofuel volume corresponding to BMW Group’s freight that will be shipped on the Autosky during the trial period, BMW Group will be able to claim a CO2 emission reduction of 80 to 90% for these shipments, totaling more than 400 tonnes of carbon.
This is a significant and important step towards achieving a carbon-neutral supply chain for BMW, and is the core aim of the GoodShipping Program, which enables cargo owners to reduce their environmental footprint.
BMW Group’s participation in the project marks yet another significant step in the advancement of marine biofuel and climate friendly vehicle transportation, and contributes to enabling the continuation of biofuel deliveries to UECC after the trial period.
The first volume of biofuel was delivered to M/V Autosky on March 16, 2020 in the Port of Rotterdam. The trial will see subsequent further refueling operations between March and July 2020. M/V Autosky is currently testing BFO on the route between Zeebrugge, Belgium and Santander, Spain.
The BFO – based on cooking oil – being used for this trial was supplied by the leading biofuel company GoodFuels. The marine biofuel ‘drops in’ to normal fuel tanks, is virtually sulfur oxide (SOx) free and delivers 80 to 90% well-to-exhaust CO2 reduction versus fossil equivalents. The joint trial proves that the means to reduce the carbon footprint of transporting goods and vehicles around the world already exist on the market and that second-generation advanced biofuels can be scaled to meet this demand.
With this scalability, marine biofuel effectively allows shipowners and operators to comply with both new legislation around sulphur content for marine fuels, as well as future regulations on carbon reduction by 2030 and 2050. Thus, the announcement marks an important milestone towards the decarbonisation of ocean freight.
Sea transportation and logistics play an important role for the BMW Group, which has production sites and vehicle distribution processes worldwide. When considering the carbon impact across the entire value chain of a car, the participation in this three month trial is a meaningful and immediate means to reduce the CO2 footprint of BMW Group’s transport logistics processes.
Daniel Gent, Energy and Sustainability Manager, UECC, said: “At UECC, we want to support our customers and enable them to make proactive, conscious choices about their cargo transportation. BMW Group’s participation to continue our trial on our ro-ro vessel M/V Autosky should therefore signal to the automotive sector that the means to decarbonise are readily available and that our vessels are equipped to meet this most important of challenges for the shipping industry.”
Anniek Sluis, Growth Captain, The GoodShipping Program, added: “We are delighted to have BMW Group join us for continuing this pioneering trial of marine biofuel within the ro-ro segment. Transportation logistics have a huge carbon impact, so the leadership shown by BMW Group to proactively take steps to decarbonise – and recognise that solutions are available – should act as a call for others in the sector to join us on this journey.”
The GoodShipping Program requires shippers to commit to a reduction in their sea freight CO2 emissions. The initiative works on the premise that, as all CO2 from shipping is emitted into the same atmosphere, the means of mitigating these emissions is equally impactful, regardless of which vessels adopt biofuels over traditional bunker fuels – or the amount of ‘drop in’ biofuel that is added to the fuel tank, as long as it offsets the CO2 costs of transporting participating shippers’ cargo.
The calculation of the original CO2 footprint and the expected Scope Three emission reductions for BMW Group were made in line with the GLEC Framework, a universal method for calculating logistics emissions developed by the non-profit Smart Freight Centre.
In the following months, further options for continuing marine biofuel uptake within the ro-ro segment will be pursued.
SSAB Raahe’s steel plant is testing biogas from Gasum as a maritime transport fuel
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The test will be carried out in collaboration with ESL Shipping and Gasum. This is the first time that biogas will be used as fuel for ships in Finland.
SSAB, ESL Shipping and Gasum are working together to reduce the emissions arising in shipping SSAB’s raw materials. Last year, SSAB and ESL Shipping introduced a new transport chain that, in comparison with its predecessor, nearly halved the carbon dioxide emissions originating in shipping SSAB’s raw materials between Luleå, Oxelösund and Raahe.
The improved transport chain brought into use ESL Shipping’s new ships Viikki and Haaga which are fueled by liquefied natural gas rather than conventional fuels. Now these companies are piloting the use of liquefied biogas as a supplementary fuel to further replace fossil fuels.
In the test that kicked off yesterday, M/S Viikki was fueled with LNG and one tanker load of liquefied biogas which was brought to SSAB Raahe from the Gasum Terminal in Pori.
“With this test, we aim to find out whether biogas could be used in small amounts for maritime transport to reduce emissions. The methane in biogas originates from biogenic material and so does not contain any fossil coal. This means the amount of biogas used in the test could further reduce the fossil carbon dioxide emissions originating in this transport chain by between 25% and 28%,” says Harri Leppänen, Head of Environment, Health & Safety at SSAB.
Efforts toward removing fossil CO2 emissions from the transport chain would require replacing all LNG with LBG and replacing the diesel fuel used to power the ship’s engine with fossil-free biodiesel.
“Our company’s key environmental goal for 2020 is testing biogas in our ships. We have been engaged in long-term environmental work together with SSAB for years, and now we are taking a new significant step towards fossil-free sea transport, “says Mikki Koskinen, ESL Shipping’s Managing Director.
“The test with ESL and SSAB is in line with our strategy to bring cleaner fuels to our customers. We are all the time increasing our biogas production and sourcing to meet growing demand of our customers. We are already in discussions with ESL about running vessels Viikki and Haaga on 100% LBG,” says Jacob Granqvist, Sales Director maritime, Gasum.
SSAB wants to launch fossil-free steel on the market as the world’s first steel company as early as 2026. The entire company is aiming to be fossil free by 2045. To achieve these targets, SSAB together with LKAB and Vattenfall has launched the HYBRIT initiative to eliminate fossil carbon dioxide emissions across the entire steel manufacturing value chain from mines to finished steel products. “However, for operations to be entirely fossil free, it is also necessary to strive to eliminate fossil fuels from shipping,” Harri Leppänen continues.
More than 90% of carbon dioxide emissions at SSAB Raahe originate in ironmaking, where coal is used as a raw material in the reduction process. The HYBRIT initiative aims to replace coal with hydrogen, which means emissions will be water vapor instead of carbon dioxide.
Iron is made at SSAB Raahe using two blast furnaces, one of which will be decommissioned in about 2029, when half of the production will switch to electric arc furnace technology where hydrogen-reduced iron and recycled steel will be used as raw materials. This transition will cut the plant’s emissions by about 40%. The other blast furnace will also be replaced by an electric arc furnace by 2040, which will reduce the plant’s fossil carbon dioxide emissions to zero if shipping can be operated without fossil fuels.
Maersk fleet to improve ocean and climate science
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Maersk vessels will be assisting global research efforts on weather patterns and climate change by committing 300 company-owned vessels to participate in the global Voluntary Observing Ship program. While Maersk already has many vessels contributing to the VOS, the newly expanded commitment will see its entire fleet participating by the end of 2020. The recorded data helps meteorologists create more accurate weather and storm forecasts – and will also be used in the creation of atmosphereocean models that will help scientists better understand climate change.
“As a global container logistics company, our vessels form a vital role in keeping supply chains moving safely and timely. Helping weather forecasting and climate science advance makes great sense to us, since both of these areas affect our operations in various ways,” said Aslak Ross, Maersk’s Head of Marine Standards.
Improving data accuracy and efficiency – digitally
While scientists have been collecting and sharing weather and ocean condition observations for over 150 years around the world, technological advances have significantly increased the amount of information which can be shared.
A typical VOS records and transmits observations manually, with a vessel crewmember reading data from instruments onboard the ship, or in some cases through automated weather stations (AWS). The data is then sent to the various National Meteorological Services for use in weather prediction models and to monitor actual conditions at sea.
To obtain more data with higher precision, the first five Maersk vessels participating in the VOS program are equipped with a more advanced type of AWS, called the European Common Automatic Weather Station (EUCAWS). The EUCAWS system automatically collects data on atmospheric pressure, air temperature and relative humidity and transmits them hourly to designated research stations. By the end of 2020, a total of 50 such stations are planned to be operational on Maersk vessels, providing the largest fleet of AWS from a single company.
Valenciaport joins the international declaration in support of maritime trade to combat the Covid-19 pandemic
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The Port Authority of Valencia has adhered to the International Declaration promoted by the Port Authorities Roundtable (PAR) to highlight the role of the port and maritime sector in maintaining commercial activity and the global supply of goods during the health emergency resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Port Authorities Roundtable is made up of the main port authorities in Asia, the Middle East, America and Europe, including the Port Authority of Valencia. This declaration has the support of 57 ports around the world and different international organizations. In the text, the signatory entities commit themselves to work together to:
– Encourage merchant ships to continue docking at port terminals to carry out loading operations and ensure the global supply chain.
– Facilitate closer coordination and communication channel between Port Authorities to share experiences and exchange information in the fight against Covid-19 while maintaining unhindered maritime trade.
– Adopt best practices to combat Covid-19 according to each country’s circumstances, including precautionary measures for the shipping community, assistance for shore staff and ship’s crew, safe handling of cargoes and measures taken to deal with cases of Covid-19.
Finally, members of the RAP are grateful through this statement for our deepest appreciation to the entire port community that is working tirelessly during the pandemic to facilitate the continuation of international trade in these difficult times.
The manifesto signed by the port authorities is in line with the statement made by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) on the importance of minimizing disruption to maritime trade and shipping activities so that vital goods, especially essential medical supplies, can continue to flow seamlessly across different regions in the world.
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