Oldendorff conducts biofuels trial voyage from Australia for sustainable shipping
Oldendorff is among a group of shipping companies exploring the use of biofuels for bunkering to curb its carbon footprint, as stricter international shipping environmental rules loom.
“A trial voyage using biofuel for the CBH Group, the largest agricultural cooperative in Western Australia, is being performed on the Edwine Oldendorff from Australia to Vietnam,” Oldendorff said on its website Jan. 10.
The ship loaded 30,000 mt of sustainably certified malting barley from the Albany Grain Terminal in Western Australia for discharge in Vietnam using an advanced biofuel blend, supplied by BP, Oldendorff said. The malting barley will be delivered to Vietnam’s Intermalt, which services several brewing customers, including Heineken.
The blend is expected to result in 15% lower emissions compared with conventional fossil fuels according to BP, Oldendorff said.
“Customers across the world are increasingly seeking to source sustainable products, including sustainable grain,” Jason Craig, chief marketing and trading officer at CBH, said. “Biofuel is one low-carbon option that could be part of the solution to reducing emissions in the shipping industry.”
CBH sold 1.2 million mt of sustainable certified grain in 2020-21, and reduced Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions on a per metric ton basis by 38%.
Oldendorff has carried out biofuel trials in the past. Last year, the company successfully conducted its first marine biofuel trial involving an ocean-going vessel bunkered in Singapore, in collaboration with global resources company BHP, advanced biofuels pioneer GoodFuels and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore.
Collaboration to speedup decarbonization
Shipping has made progress through the establishment of various alliances, such as the Getting to Zero Coalition and the Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonization, or GCMD, to tackle the industry’s carbon footprint through the development of various zero-carbon fuels and other initiatives, following the International Maritime Organization’s initial greenhouse strategy.
The IMO has agreed to reduce the global fleet’s carbon intensity by 40% by 2030, compared with the 2008 levels, and cut greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2050.
“We believe that shipping must and can decarbonize fully by 2050,” Soren Toft, CEO of Mediterranean Shipping Company, said at an industry event organized by DNV Jan. 11. “Given that the economic life of a ship is typically more than 20 years, we [shipping industry] also need to start acting now because we cannot be in a situation where suddenly all the assets are obsolete.”
Private and public partnerships have been considered critical for the industry to provide the required financing and the regulatory framework to forge ahead with projects and trials.
GCMD is an example of partnership between the public and the private sector, with the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore among its founding partners, GCMD Chief Executive Officer Lynn Loo said at the event.
“The idea is to move together so that we can fail, pass and learn even faster,” Loo said.
Collaboration is required from other sectors, such as aviation, which needs SAF derived from biomaterials and biomass, to fast-track shipping’s decarbonization, as it will reduce duplication of efforts, aggregate resources and build appropriate infrastructure, according to her.
Sustainability-linked financing and transition-linked financing were also crucial for accelerating maritime decarbonization, said Marthe Lamp Sandvik, VP Ocean Industries at DNB, stressing on the importance of inclusive financing for smaller players that lack the required resources to achieve net zero goals.
“The industry is asset heavy and it has a lot of emissions reduction potential,” Sandvik said. “But at the same time, small and medium size companies might not be people heavy. So, they might not have the administrative resources to report externally to a large number of partners that they are working with in that sense.”
Sustainable finance comes with a larger reporting requirement and “you have to be able to prove that you are having an impact,” she said.