motor vessel autosky

BMW Joins UECC in Marine Biofuel Trial

Mike Schuler
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June 10, 2020

File photo shows the pure car and truck carrier MV Autosky. Photo courtesy UECC

Car manufacturer BMW is joining carrier UECC to continue to testing the use of marine biofuel in the roll-on/roll-off sector.

BMW will join UECC and the Goodshipping Program in an on-going trial testing bio fuel on board UECC’s 2,000-vehicle car carrier MV Autosky.

Launch in 2017 by biofuel supplier Goodfuels, the The Goodshipping Program is a first-of-its-kind shipping initiative promoting biofuel as the best option for making the shipping industry more sustainable. The program requires shippers to commit to a reduction in their sea freight CO2 emissions.

In joining the program, BMW will cover the fuel premium corresponding to the amount of cargo it ships on board the Autosky during a trial period. The companies claim BMW could claim a CO2 emission reduction of 80 to 90% for the shipments totaling more than 400 tonnes of carbon.

The cooking oil-based biofuel being used in the trial is supplied by Goodfuels. The marine biofuel ‘drops in’ to normal fuel tanks, is virtually sulfur oxide (SOx) free and delivers 80 to 90% well-to-exhaust CO2 reduction versus fossil equivalents.

For the past three months, the MV Autosky has been testing BFO on the route between Zeebrugge, Belgium and Santander, Spain. The first volume of biofuel was delivered to the vessel on March 16, 2020 in the Port of Rotterdam, and the trial will see additional fueling operations between March and July 2020.

The ultimate goal of the trial is to prove that currently available marine biofuel can be scaled up to meet the growing global demand to reduce and eventually eliminate carbon emissions from ocean shipping. Using marine biofuel complies with both current and future regulations, including 2030 and 2050 targets set out in IMO’s initial strategy to reducing carbon emissions from ships.

“We are delighted to have BMW Group join us for continuing this pioneering trial of marine biofuel within the ro-ro segment,” said Anniek Sluis, Growth Captain at The GoodShipping Program. “Transportation logistics have a huge carbon impact, so the leadership shown by BMW Group to proactively take steps to decarbonize – and recognize that solutions are available – should act as a call for others in the sector to join us on this journey.”

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