Landmark Marine Biofuel Trial Hailed a Success

CMA CGM Biofuel trial
Photo courtesy CMA CGM

A first-of-its kind biofuel trial on board a modern containership operating on the key North Europe-Asia trade route has returned promising results, potentially laying the the foundation for shipping’s decarbonization.

Partners in the trial, IKEA Transport & Logistics Services, CMA CGM, and the GoodShipping Program, have announced the successful completion of the 2019 biofuel test program on CMA CGM vessels, with positive trials of Heavy Fuel Oil-equivalent (HFO) Bio-Fuel Oil (GoodFuels BFO) during CMA CGM ALEXANDER VON HUMBOLDT’s North Europe-Asia voyage, which took place in September and October 2019.

The latest development follows the world’s first refueling of a container ship with sustainable biofuel in March 2019 when the CMA CGM WHITE SHARK took on biofuel bunkers during a call at the Port of Rotterdam.

Under the trial, sustainable Bio-Fuel Oil was used in a blend with conventional fossil-based marine fuels to power a vessel on a major oceangoing route. According to the partners, both applications of the Bio-Fuel Oil showed a positive result, proving the technical compatibility of sustainable marine biofuels. T

The Bio-Fuel Oil trialled by CMA CGM across both vessels was supplied by biofuels company GoodFuels, and is the first ever HFO-equivalent biofuel. All GoodFuels sustainable marine fuels are virtually SOx free and deliver 80-90% well-to-propeller CO2 reduction versus fossil equivalents.

The announcement comes as the shipping industry faces increasing scrutiny to improve its sustainability and move towards decarbonization. With scalability, bio-fuel oil can help shipowners and operators to comply with future regulations on carbon reduction by 2030 and 2050.

The trials were achieved through IKEA Transport & Logistics Services’ participation in the GoodShipping Program, the world’s first decarbonization initiative for cargo owners.

“We are pleased to conclude that this pilot has been successful and that it has been proven possible to use advanced Bio-Fuel Oil on oceangoing vessels,” said Elisabeth Munck af Rosenschöld, Head of Sustainability, IKEA Global Transport & Logistics Services. “It is only through collaboration and partnerships between major players – including cargo owners, ship operators and solution providers – that we can achieve real change at fast pace. We need a diversified portfolio of solutions to achieve our ambitious emissions reduction targets – and marine biofuels are an important part of the puzzle going forward for our sector.”

Dirk Kronemeijer, CEO, The GoodShipping Program commented, “The success of this test program with IKEA and CMA CGM builds further evidence of the important role that Bio-Fuel Oil will play in the marine fuel mix, and proves that initiatives already exist on the market for cargo owners to realize their decarbonization goals. The GoodShipping Program is committed to helping more cargo owners unlock the potential of this direct decarbonisation option in the near future, as our sector continues to establish and embrace its wider carbon reduction efforts.”