MSC Gulsun

MSC Commits to Biofuel Blend for Vessels Calling Rotterdam

Mike Schuler
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December 9, 2019

Photo courtesy MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company

One of the world’s largest shipping lines, MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), has opted to begin using biofuel blends to power some of its fleet, becoming the first major ocean carrier to do so.

The decision by MSC follows successful trials with biofuel blends earlier this year. The trials were completed using a 10 percent blended bunker fuel. However, following further trials, the company will now use a much higher blend consisting 30 percent biofuel.

The blended fuel will, as of now, only be made available to MSC vessels calling in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. 

“We are pleased to see these trials completed successfully and look forward to now using biofuel on our vessels as a routine matter,” said Bud Darr, Executive Vice President, Maritime Policy & Government Affairs, MSC Group. “When using such blended fuel, we can expect an estimated 15-20% reduction in absolute CO2 emissions. The potential CO2 reduction in the bio component of these fuels could reach 80-90%, which we will monitor and confirm over time.”

MSC says that by using responsibly-sourced biofuels, it will help provide an alternative solution for it to meet the International Maritime Organization’s 2030 CO2 emission reduction target and “significant progress” towards the IMO’s 2050 levels of ambition.

According to MSC, using biofuel on container ships will help it meet its sustainability goals and could significantly help reduce emissions and improve air quality. 

“MSC’s decision to use biofuel is complementary to the company’s broader strategic approach to sustainability,” MSC said in a statement. “The company remains committed to implementing concrete plans to modernise its green and efficient fleet via the largest container shipping investment program in the industry.”

MSC’s biofuel commitment comes as new data was released Monday by the NGO Transport & Environment showing that MSC was responsible for about 11 million tonnes of CO2 emissions in 2018, ranking it as one of the top ten biggest polluters in the EU. 

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