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Wartsila, GoodFuels Marine, Boskalis to develop marine biofuels

Wartsila, GoodFuels Marine, Boskalis to develop marine biofuels
A consortium comprising of Wartsila, GoodFuels Marine and Boskalis will work on a two-year pilot programme to develop sustainable, scalable and affordable marine biofuels, potentially an environmentally-friendly fuel option for shipowners.

The programme’s focus will seek to identify suitable marine biofuels, secure industry certification, and prepare the building blocks for large-scale production.

The consortium will also initiate a global scalability study involving leading shipowners, universities, NGOs, ports, biofuel companies and other industry stakeholders, with an aim to identify opportunities for scaling supply to the world’s commercial shipping fleet.

Additionally, the consortium will test several next generation biofuels made from industrial waste streams, at the Wartsila laboratory in Vaasa, Finland before sea trials are conducted on ships within Boskalis’ fleet.

With the objective of developing a fuel mix that is fully sustainable, the programme seeks to promote a reduced carbon footprint (up to 90% versus fossil fuels) for the maritime sector. The consortium believes that these bio-fuels will play a viable role in lowering emissions to levels that no other fuel can currently achieve without a capital-intensive fleet renewal or retrofitting.

Theo Baartmans, chief operating officer of Boskalis, commented: “We strongly believe in the need for sustainable ‘drop in’ marine bio-fuels and their potential as part of the long term fuel mix, as we see them as an important means of improving the sustainability of the industry.”

Drop in bio-fuels are liquid hydrocarbons that are functionally equivalent to petroleum derived fuels, meaning that they can be effectively interchanged with conventional fuels. Minimal engine modifications may be necessary in some cases.

Dirk Kronemeijer, ceo of GoodFuels Marine, believed that the international shipping market is “now ready and well-placed to embrace truly sustainable, long term alternative fuels that can meet all stringent technical, economical and sustainability standards, just as witnessed in the sustainable jet fuel market five years ago.”