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Raízen and Wärtsilä sign agreement to accelerate fleet sustainability through ethanol-based solutions

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Decarbonisation agreement aims to explore the use of ethanol as marine fuel to reduce GHG emissions and advance the development of first ethanol-fueled maritime vessel.

Raízen, an integrated energy company with a broad portfolio of renewables, and Wärtsilä, the global leader in power system technologies for marine and energy markets, signed a Decarbonization Agreement in order to advance the decarbonisation of the marine sector. By studying the effects of ethanol application as a marine fuel, the new initiative aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), provide novel options to customers seeking sustainable fuel alternatives and substantively contribute to the discussion of the energy transition in the global marine sector.

"Ethanol is a promising marine fuel that is readily available now," said Paulo Neves, vice president of Trading at Raízen. "By working with Wärtsilä, we hope to support the marine sector global decarbonization efforts, with ethanol being a viable contributor towards a portfolio of low-carbon solutions for this sector.”

Wärtsilä, under its fleet decarbonisation program, has achieved a series of significant milestones to bring new sustainable solutions to the market, to increase engine efficiency and to support the decarbonization of maritime operations. By conducting technology tests with ethanol as a primary fuel in Wärtsilä Sustainable Fuels engine laboratories, supporting Raízen in discussions with ship designers and shipowners, and also on regulations and compliance requirements for the use of cellulosic ethanol as fuel, the agreement will help to drive the integration of clean energy solutions within the maritime sector.

“At Wärtsilä, we are investing heavily in the development of technologies, engines and solutions aimed for low and zero-carbon marine fuels. This agreement with Raízen, a company committed to supporting the sector’s decarbonization, is yet another example of how we seek ways to enable the journey towards a decarbonised future,” commented Stefan Nysjö, Vice President, Power Supply, Wärtsilä Marine Power.

Replacing fossil fuels with sustainably produced ethanol in marine transportation can reduce CO2 emissions by up to 80% in a standard route from Brazil to Europe, according to Raizen’s initial studies review. Ethanol has the potential of  being a viable solution to help decarbonize the sector since it provides greater flexibility and optionality as the industry moves toward a combination of lower-emission fuel options. With the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) Greenhouse Gas Strategy aiming to reduce carbon emissions from international shipping by 40% by 2030 and 70% by 2050 versus 2008 levels, ethanol can provide one more avenue to help achieve this target.

The program signifies an important step in Raizen's commitment to offer end-to-end low-carbon solutions to its worldwide customers. In addition to effectively diminishing the carbon footprint associated with product logistics, the companies are proactively seeking strategic alliances with shipping partners who share the vision of vessel decarbonisation.