Van Oord and Shell to Test Marine Biofuel

Together with Shell, Van Oord is testing the use of biofuel on its fleet. The biofuel reduces CO2 emissions by more than forty per cent compared with conventional marine fuel. The first pilot will take place during a dredging project in Germany on Van Oord’s trailing suction hopper dredger HAM 316.

Pepijn van den Heuvel, project leader at Shell: ‘Biofuels are one of the solutions for shipping that can be implemented in the short and medium term. Biofuels can be blended with conventional fuels without the need for major technical modifications to the engines. Partners such as Van Oord have the technical expertise to monitor and supervise such pilots effectively.’

Pilot in Germany

Trailing suction hopper dredger (TSHD) HAM 316 will sail from Rotterdam to Cuxhaven and will be employed on the German project during the biofuel pilot. The ultra low-sulphur fuel easily complies with current ECA regulations. A “second-generation” biofuel is used, made from normal marine fuel and  waste products such as cooking oil on a fifty-fifty per cent basis. Moreover, it is ISCC certified, which means that the entire chain is certified by a third party.

The pilot is conducted to test the effect of the fuel on the engines and will indicate whether the fuel can be used in existing vessels. The second goal of the pilot is to reduce emissions. The local emissions of the vessel will be measured during the work and after completion the engine will be inspected.

Pieter Vis, Captain of TSHD HAM 316: ‘Hoppers have the biggest footprint of the equipment within Van Oord and reduction of CO2 emissions is the next big step we can make.’

Green Deal

By 2050, global shipping will have to emit an average of fifty per cent less CO2 than in 2008. In addition, Van Oord has signed the Green Deal with the aim of achieving a seventy per cent reduction by 2050 compared with 2008. That is why Van Oord and Shell are working together to reduce emissions from vessels. Both parties have signed an agreement to carry out a large-scale biofuel pilot. Following the pilot, the possibility of using biofuels on other vessels will also be examined.

Author: Mariska Buitendijk

Mariska Buitendijk is one of SWZ|Maritime's journalists as well as the magazine's copy editor.