Tanker operator Norden and biofuel supplier GoodFuels of Rotterdam announced the successful trial of a CO2-neutral biofuel used as an alternative to low sulphur fossil fuel.

Norden tests CO2-neutral fuel on Handysize product tanker
Caption: Chemical/Oil Products Tanker Nord Highlander - Image courtesy of Marcel Coster

In September this year, Norden’s product tanker Nord Highlander sailed from Antwerp burning standard fossil fuel.

The main engine was inspected to create a baseline reference, then the rest of the voyage to Estonia was conducted burning a low sulphur alternative biofuel produced from recycled cooking oil by GoodFuels of Rotterdam.

During the voyage the engine was operated at different loads for sufficiently long periods to establish stable performance. After the test, a final visual inspection of the engine was conducted, which confirmed the engine was not negatively affected by the biofuel.

The test documented that second-generation CO2-neutral biofuel supplied by GoodFuels is technically and economically suitable and thereby a realistic alternative to comparable fossil fuel.

The test on board the Norden vessel documented that the engine performance is not affected, meaning the full performance envelope can be delivered without restrictions. The initiative is in line with Norden’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint.

“Norden has come a long way in increasing fuel efficiency and has reduced CO2 emissions per tonne cargo transported on owned tanker vessels by 25% between 2007 and 2017. With the newly introduced IMO targets on CO2 reductions, however, it is evident that increased fuel efficiency alone is not enough. We need alternative solutions and with this test, Norden has shown a viable method towards reaching these targets,” said Norden chief executive Jan Rindbo.

The fuel meets the criteria to be classed as CO2 neutral: CO2-neutral biofuel is defined as tank-to-wake 100% reduction, well-to-wake 85-89% reduction.

Ecological Council senior adviser Kåre Press-Kristensen said “We appreciate that Norden is investigating specific solutions to the climate challenge. We need actions here and now to meet the climate goals of IMO and we are proud that Norden takes action, taking a leading role in biofuels, and look forward to following the development.”

Norden stated that it will continue working with GoodFuels to gain further experience with biofuel as an alternative to low sulphur fossil fuel and consider other possibilities to lower the carbon footprint with the goal of offering commercially attractive CO2 neutral transport to customers within the foreseeable future.

Source: Marine Propulsion