Testing Biofuel on Cross-Ocean Shipping Lane
As a provider of marine supply services in South Africa, the Link Ship Chandlers team is always interested in news on research and development in our field – doubly so when the research in question is aimed at streamlining the shipping trade to become more sustainable on the whole. While greenhouse gas emissions from shipping are much lower than other modes of transport (only about 3% of global emissions), it does account for 90% of global trade and if measures aren’t taken to keep the carbon footprint in check, it could triple by 2050.
This is why it is heartening to learn that Maersk, the largest container ship and supply vessel operator in the world, has been taking steps to move towards a zero CO2 target by 2050. To do so, Maersk collaborated with the DSGC (Dutch Sustainable Growth Coalition), which consists of a group of its own influential customers, including Shell, Unilever, Philips, and Frieslandcampina. Their main focus so far has been the refinement of second-generation biofuels made from ISCC-certified waste products like used cooking oil, wood chip waste and forest residues.
A part of this plan entails a Maersk’s Triple-E series vessel travelling a distance of around 25,000 nautical miles from Rotterdam to Shanghai between March and June 2019, fuelled solely by biofuel blends. Shell is providing the fuel for the project and Maersk will be operating the Triple-E vessel, which can travel up to 184 km on 1 kWh/tonne of cargo and is said to emit 50% less CO2 per container shipped than its closest competitors. These energy savings are attributed to the efficient design of the ship’s engine, a streamlined hull, as well as a class-leading heat recovery system.
According to Søren Toft, the COO of Maersk, this is just the start of their drive toward sustainability. He believes that major breakthroughs will be required to reach their 2050 target and that the collaborative efforts of the DSGC will be instrumental in bringing new low-carbon solutions to fruition.
Exciting times indeed! With this type of innovation occurring in the shipping trade, we believe there is a cause of optimism on the whole. Keep an eye on the blog in coming weeks and months as we share more inspiring shipping-related news from around the globe. In the meantime, feel free to reach out to the Link Ship Chandlers team for more information on our marine supply services at South Africa’s major ports.
Image source: Wikipedia