Jan De Nul’s hopper dredger operates on biofuel for 2000 hours

Jan De Nul Group has completed 2000 hours using one hundred per cent renewable second generation Biofuel Oil (BFO) on board the trailing suction hopper dredger Alexander von Humboldt. It is said to be the longest continuous use of sustainable marine biofuel in the maritime industry.

It was carried out in close collaboration with MAN Energy Solutions and GoodFuels. The achievement further reinforces the adoption of this fuel solution, proving to the maritime world that BFO is ready for use as a sustainable drop-in fuel to meet industry emissions reduction targets.

The Alexander von Humboldt is said to be the first vessel in the world to record this bio-fuel milestone. The important technical benchmark of 2000 sailing hours proves the technical applicability and capabilities of sustainable marine bio-fuel in operations. At the same time, it opens the door to cross-sectoral collaboration with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), class societies, flag states, and supply chains to accelerate the supply of these fuels into mainstream use.

Decarbonisation

‘We will further explore the use of biofuel on other vessels, and continue the aim to achieve decarbonisation within our business,’ says Michel Deruyck Head of Energy at Jan De Nul Group. ‘It’s also paramount to involve our clients to meet these ambitious carbon reductions, since it’s certainly not the most economical option of the fossil-dominated fuel supply industry. Moreover, this transitional bio-fuel solution needs to be a sustainable primary energy source. We are open to all other sustainable primary energy sources, but for the time being most of them are financially not competitive within the existing regulatory frameworks.’

The Alexander von Humboldt was refuelled at various stages over the last nine months, with massively reduced fossil CO2 emissions of 85 per cent. The vessel consumed the bio-fuel while conducting maintenance dredging works in Flemish seaports and the United Kingdom.

Second generation Bio-fuel Oil

The BFO was introduced by GoodFuels in 2018. It was the first marine second generation, fossil fuel-equivalent bio-fuel, that is completely derived from sustainable waste feedstock in line with the latest European renewable energy directive. GoodFuels introduced the BFO as a credible carbon based solution to accelerate the energy transition.

Deruyck adds: ‘With our choice of this sustainable marine biofuel, we want to prove to the governments and our clients that if they have climate ambitions and incorporate these in the selection procedures, the industry is ready for it. It is very important now that the right policies and regulations follow to leverage the full potential of BFO. Research into fuels of the future is useful, but it should not prevent us from using sustainable solutions already available today for the much-needed energy transition within the shipping industry.’

Author: Mariska Buitendijk

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