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ONE extends HVO biofuel use in UK rail transport

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ONE and Freightliner have partnered to use pure biofuel in the transport of ONE containers on the UK rail network.

As the maritime industry continues to trial an assortment of biofuels and biofuel blends to power vessels and cut emmisions, Ocean Network Express (ONE) has extended its commitment to use 100% biofuel for its rail cargo movements in the UK.

In partnership with Freightliner, a UK rail and intermodal logistics company, ONE will extend a six-month trial to use pure Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) for its UK rail logistics. 

Freightliner provides connections for ONE between terminals including London Gateway and the Port of Southampton to locations throughout the UK. ONE intends to roll out a green rail offering, where customers will be able to choose to purchase a carbon reduction certificate for their GHG reduction efforts.

HVO, known as renewable diesel, is made from vegetable oils and waste-based fat and oils from the food industry, and is a high grade replacement for fossil diesel fuels with up to 90% lower lifecycle carbon emissions, depending on its source and feedstocks.

There have been a range of HVO trials in the maritime industry as a means of decarbonising the operations of vessels with traditional engines without expensive retrofits or modifications to the engine, although some minor changes to the materials used in components like seals may be necessary. One strength of the HVO as a fuel in maritime is its ability to be blended with traditional marine fuels, typically in concentrations up to 30% or B30. HVO is more expensive than its fossil equivalent, trading at around a $443/tonne premium to VLSFO equivalent in Los Angeles, according to the IMO price of alternative fuels map.

Nick Reay, Head of Operations for ONE UK said, “Over our successful six-month pilot period, we calculated that an incredible 488 tonnes of CO2 emissions were saved by switching to this renewable fuel. We thank Freightliner for collaborating with us to make a greener and more sustainable supply chain as ONE continues to find innovative ways to achieve our goal of net zero by 2050.”

Clive Slayford, Commercial Director – Intermodal Logistics at Freightliner said, “We are thrilled that ONE has chosen to roll out HVO fuel to power their UK rail cargo journeys. Throughout our long-standing partnership, we have demonstrated our commitment to offering customers a greener alternative using HVO fuel which drastically reduces carbon emissions compared to diesel and road alternatives.”