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BP and Maersk Tankers complete B30 biofuel trials

Ships sailing from Rotterdam to West Africa receive blend of VLSFO and 30% FAME.

Image credit: Maersk Tankers

Updated on 17 Dec 2021 16:43 GMT

BP and Maersk Tankers, with support from the Danish Maritime Authority, report that they have successfully completed trials using biofuel-blended bunkers as a drop-in fuel for product tankers.

The trials were completed aboard the Maersk Cirrus and Maersk Navigator — product tankers on time-charter to BP from Maersk Tankers, with each vessel supplied with BP Marine B30 biofuel, consisting of 30 percent fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) blended with very-low-sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO).

FAME is a renewable alternative fuel largely produced from recycled cooking oils and renewable oil sources. It has physical properties similar to conventional diesel, and is also non-toxic and biodegradable. The origination and production of the feedstocks used to produce FAME is certified for its sustainability to internationally recognized standards.

The trials saw the vessels sail from Rotterdam to West Africa. Throughout the trials, tests were carried out to assess the reliability and performance of the B30 biofuel blend in each ship's main engine, auxiliary engine and boiler, and any impact on fuel tanks to determine the level of interchangeability with other fuel types.

No adverse effects to equipment or machinery were observed during or after the trials, the trial participants note. Also, no modifications to the engine or infrastructure are said to have been required, thus demonstrating the suitability of sustainable biofuels for use as a drop-in fuel.

Carol Howle, BP's executive vice president of trading and shipping, commented: "At any one time, BP has around 300 ships on the water moving our products around the world. With an ambition to be a net zero company by 2050 and help the world get there too, it's vital we help decarbonize this hard-to-abate sector. We're proud to be working with a partner like Maersk Tankers, to develop new alternative fuels and low-carbon solutions that will help accelerate the shipping industry's energy transition."

Christian M. Ingerslev, Maersk Tankers' Chief Executive Officer, said: "The need to cut emissions is one of the most important challenges facing shipping right now. We are only able to rise to this challenge if we do it in partnerships and explore a multitude of solutions. With BP, we are combining our expertise to play our part in testing and making alternative fuels available."

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