Dutch Sustainable Growth Coalition Partners with Maersk in Maritime Biofuel Pilot

A group of Dutch multinationals including FrieslandCampina, Heineken, Philips, DSM, Shell and Unilever, all members of the Dutch Sustainable Growth Coalition (DSGC), will join forces with A.P. Moller - Maersk on a pilot testing the use of second-generation biofuel. The test is part of an effort by Maersk to reach its net zero CO2 target by 2050.
Dutch Sustainable Growth Coalition Partners with Maersk in Maritime Biofuel Pilot
Courtesy of Maersk

In the pilot, between March and June, a large triple-E ocean vessel will sail 25.000 nautical miles from Rotterdam to Shanghai and back on biofuel blends alone, a world’s first at this scale, saving an estimated1.5 million kilograms of CO2 and 20,000 kilograms of sulphur.

The DSGC members, many of them Maersk customers, initiated and sponsored the pilot. The fuel was provided by Shell and Maersk played the role of operating partner.

The biofuel used is ‘second generation’ biofuel, produced from waste sources, in this case used cooking oil (UCOME oil). This biofuel is ISCC Certified, meaning that the whole chain is third party certified. Biofuel can replace or be blended with conventional fuels, eliminating the need to adapt or replace current systems.

Sustainably sourced second-generation biofuels are just one possible solution for the decarbonization of ocean shipping. Longer term, breakthroughs in fuel and technical development (i.e. e-fuels) and investment into commercial supply chains are needed to achieve significant emissions reductions.

“This pilot testing biofuel on a cross ocean shipping lane marks an important step. However, many more innovations are urgently needed. These can only be successfully developed, tested and implemented in industry collaborations like this,” said Jan Peter Balkenende, Chair of the DSGC.

Søren Toft, Chief Operating Officer A.P. Moller – Maersk, said the collaboration “laid the foundation for how cross-industry partners can work together to take steps towards a more sustainable future. We welcome others to join in our efforts, as this journey is just beginning.”

Shipping accounts for 90 percent of transported goods and 3 percent of total global CO2-emissions, and is set to rise to 15 percent by 2050 if left unchecked. The CO2 savings of this journey alone equates to the annual CO2 emitted by over 200 households in a year.

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