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ExxonMobil completes trial of its first bio fuel oil

Residual 0.50% fuel to be available in select European ports later this year.

Image credit: ExxonMobil

Updated on 10 Sep 2020 11:34 GMT

ExxonMobil confirms that it has successfully completed a sea trial using the company's first marine bio fuel oil in cooperation with shipping firm Stena Bulk, with bunkering taking place in the port of Rotterdam.

The bio fuel oil is a 0.50 percent sulphur residual-based fuel (VLSFO) processed with a second-generation waste-based fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) component (ISCC certified). The product is set to be available later this year, initially in Rotterdam, before a wider launch across ExxonMobil's port network.

The sea trial was designed and completed as part of ExxonMobil's assessment and trial protocol to demonstrate that there were no adverse equipment effects when operating with higher levels of bio components. It was carried out while the Stena Bulk vessel was in commercial operation and included the evaluation of onboard storage, handling and treatment. The fuel was consumed in engines and other machinery.

The test project also set out to demonstrate that the marine bio fuel oil can be used in a relevant marine application without modification and help operators take a significant step towards meeting their carbon emissions reduction targets.

The product is claimed to provide a CO2 emission reduction of up to around 40 percent compared with conventional petroleum-based VLSFO, calculated as a well-to-wake CO2 emissions reduction using Directive 2009/30/EC of the European Parliament, Council Annex IV C. 1 and MEPC 66/21 Annex 5.

"With new marine fuels coming to market recently, the need for quality fuels that are both reliable and ISO compliant has never been greater," remarked Cowan Lee, Marine Fuels Marketing Manager at ExxonMobil. "ExxonMobil's new marine bio fuel oil meets that growing need as it has been extensively tested, is sulphur compliant and can make a significant contribution in helping operators reduce their CO2 emissions."

"As operators face increasingly stringent regulations and significant pressure from customers to demonstrate their commitment to reducing GHG emissions, this is an important next step in providing the lower-emissions fuels that operators want and need," Lee added.

Erik Hånell, President and CEO Stena Bulk, commented: "We believe biofuels have an important role to play in accelerating the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in shipping.

"The development of ExxonMobil's biofuel is an important step towards a broader commercial use of low-carbon fuels and we were happy to be part of the sea trial, which proved to be very successful. The fuel performed very well and fitted seamlessly into our technical and commercial operation without the need for engine modifications or additional procedures, while contributing to a significant reduction of CO2 emissions."

John Larese, Marine Fuels Technical Advisor at ExxonMobil, noted: "As a residual fuel, it can be dropped-in without the need for expensive modification and can help provide ship operators immediate CO2 savings compared to full hydrocarbon fuel. This successful trial also involved close collaboration with the OEMs, the vessel's classification society and flag state."

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