Maersk to change the Future: Usage of Biomas Resource as Fuel

By Curious

We have all heard it before; the number 1 cost faced by owners of vessels is the cost of fuel. With that in mind, A.P. Moller-Maersk, with an annual fuel bill of roughly US$7 billion, is aggressively looking at different ways to cut those expenses and has started exploring the use alternative fuels – namely biofuels – as a possible cost-savings measure. Here is what they said today:
International shipping has so far not benefitted from the development and research, which has turned biomass into one of the most important sources of renewable energy in the world. There are now 2 projects involving Maersk aim to change that.
Maersk should consider different ways to reduce the fuel consumption of its bunkers because Maersk has a fuel bill of around $7 billion for vessel operations annually. This may be achieved by two ways: alternative fuel or greater efficiency.
Maersk is concentrated on 2 projects on realizing the marine fuel potential of one of the most sustainable and abundant biomas resources in the world - lignin.
“The biomas resource lignin has a diversity of industrial uses already because of its chemical characteristics, energy content and its abundance; its potential also as a marine diesel fuel is a relatively uncharted area,” told Peter Normark Sørensen, with Maersk Oil Trading, the Maersk Group’s oil buying arm.
In February, Maersk Group signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Progression Industry—a spin-off company of Eindhoven University of Technology — to develop a viable marine fuel from lignin, which meets stringent parameters on price, technical performance, sustainability and emissions.
Maersk is going to buy 50,000 tonnes.
The agreement among Progression Industry and Maersk states that if Progression may produce a lignin based fuel, which meets Maersk’s criteria then Maersk is going to buy 50,000 tonnes of this fuel.
“For the past 75 years, the companies in the shipping industry have used oil, but looking at the next 75 years this is likely to change. In the longer term oil is simply going to run out, so we should start looking for alternatives,” stated Jacob Sterling, head of Environment and CSR in Maersk Line.
“The amazing thing about biofuels is that they would not only secure a future fuel supply, they are also greatly going to reduce our CO2 and SOx emissions ,” says Sterling.