Global resources company BHP, German shipping company Oldendorff Carriers, and advanced biofuels pioneer GoodFuels, with the support of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), conducted the first marine biofuel trial involving an ocean-going vessel bunkered in Singapore on 4 April 2021.
As part of the trial, the 2020-built 81,290 deadweight tonne dry bulk carrier Kira Oldendorff was refuelled with “drop-in” advanced biofuel blended with conventional fossil fuels.
The key objectives of the biofuel bunkering trial include understanding the behaviour of the fuel (such as emissions), assessing engine and vessel operational performance during the trial as well as exploring the technical and commercial merits and challenges of biofuels as a marine fuel. The trial will enable us to develop an informed strategy on the structural supply and use of biofuels to support BHP’s key shipping routes.
These objectives are in line with BHP’s strategy to assess biofuels as a potential low-carbon fuel of the future, which is an important step in enabling BHP to establish pathways for meeting one of its Scope 3 greenhouse gas emission goals for 2030, to support 40 per cent emissions intensity reduction of BHP-chartered shipping of our products.
BHP’s Vice President of Maritime, Rashpal Bhatti, said: “We are delighted to be working with Oldendorff Carriers and GoodFuels, with the support of MPA, to carry out the first biofuel trial involving an ocean-going vessel bunkered here in Singapore. We strive hard to work with our customers, suppliers and other stakeholders along the value chain to influence emissions reductions across the full life cycle of our products and we fully support moves to decarbonise the maritime industry.”
The advanced biofuel, supplied by GoodFuels, reduces CO2 emissions by 80-90% well-to-exhaust compared with HFO/VLSFO, and uses sustainable waste and residue streams as feedstock.
Commenting on the partnership, Isabel Welten, Chief Commercial Officer at GoodFuels, said: “We are very excited about our first expansion into Singapore and the Asian market, especially since we have already identified Singapore as an important hub for many of our customers over the year. This trial marks the start of a process for GoodFuels of facilitating more structural supply of sustainable marine biofuels in Singapore, in a commercial, operational and technically feasible manner.”
Oldendorff Carriers chose one of their modern Kamsarmaxes, Kira Oldendorff, for the trial as appropriate modifications to the vessel were easily carried out to burn the biofuel blend efficiently, and monitoring instruments were installed to capture the trial data as accurately as possible.
Oldendorff Carriers Singapore’s Managing Director, Alex Vajsova-Jones stressed the importance of collaborating with the right partners: “Oldendorff Carriers and BHP’s views on a greener future are mutually aligned and being historically close partners, it made this trial a natural fit. GoodFuels are leaders in biofuels and early movers in this segment and felt they were an excellent choice, while MPA are strong supporters of green initiatives and are always instrumental in supporting industry participants in the ‘shipping capital of the world’.”
“We are thrilled to have been selected to participate in this biofuel trial with our close partners, and pleased that the bunkering happened in Singapore. It’s a small but necessary step in our common goal to reduce our carbon footprint,” Vajsova-Jones added.
Captain Daknashamoorthy Ganasen, MPA’s Senior Director (Operations and Marine Services), said: “Singapore is committed to the environmental sustainability of the shipping industry. We welcome interested parties to cooperate on the research, development and piloting of clean marine fuels in reducing the impact of shipping on the environment.”