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Successful trial of two biofuel supply chains in Singapore

Photo: GCMD Biofuels bunker sampling
A sampling procedure carried out by the surveyor at the ship bunkering manifold during bunkering.
Drop-in biofuels can be used to reduce emissions from ships today but assurance as to their sourcing and blending remains an issue.

To try and address this gap the Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation (GCMD) has led a consortium trialling two supply chains of biofuels blends.

The trials in Singapore took place from 31 October 2022–15 February 2023 and involved five vessels; approximately 4,700 metric tonnes (mt) of sustainable biofuel blends were bunkered, the last batch of which will be consumed by end of February.

Dr. Sanjay Kuttan, CTO of the GCMD, said: “The lack of assurance on the quality, quantity and emissions abatement of biofuels is a painpoint we identified from interviewing more than 100 industry stakeholders. These trials were curated to address this gap. In developing a framework to provide transparency and bolster the integrity of the biofuels supply chain, we hope to increase user confidence and decrease the barrier for wider adoption.” 

In the first supply chain, Chevron provided B24 VLSFO (a 24% biofuel blend) to the vessels CMA CGM Maupassant and the Ocean Network Express (ONE) operated MOL Endowment. Chevron also bunkered B20 HSFO, in its own Singapore Voyager and on the Elizabeth I.A. that is owned by Angelicoussis Group.

In a second supply chain TotalEnergies Marine Fuel provided B24 VLSFO to Lycaste Peace that is owned by NYK and chartered to Astomos Energy Corporation.

Dr. Prapisala Thepsithar, Director of Projects at GCMD and project lead on this drop-in fuel assurance pilot, said: “Through these trials, we have gained a better appreciation of the complexities of real-world operations. We have learned the hard lesson that not all tracing techniques are directly applicable for tracing sustainable biofuels as they stand, and we are currently undertaking efforts to refine their deployment. 

The two supply chains trialled are part of five that will complete the pilot which involves 19 industry partners, with 13 vessels spanning the container, tanker, and bulker segments bunkering in Singapore and Rotterdam. 

In the trial involved the MOL Endowment ONE noted that it also marked a step forward in digitisation as the biofuel transaction was made digitally through the Singapore Trade Data Exchange (SGTraDex). Documents exchanged digitally included documents include the Certificate of Quality, Bunkering Sales Confirmation, Bunker Delivery Note, and Bunkering Sales Invoice (Delivery).

TAGS: Bunkering Asia