EPS partners with GCMD and GoodFuels for biofuel trial project
This is the third biofuel supply chain trail by GCMD involving tracer dosing and onboard blending
The Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation (GCMD) successfully bunkered the third supply chain of a biofuel blend as part of its pilot to develop a quality, quantity and GHG abatement assurance framework for drop-in green fuels on 24 July.
Partnering with tonnage provider Eastern Pacific Shipping (EPS), this GCMD-led trial involved the Kaupang, a mid-sized gas carrier equipped with an LPG dual-fuel engine. As opposed to sailing on conventional fuel oil, LPG propulsion can reduce emissions. Using LPG requires a pilot fuel; replacing the pilot fuel with a biofuel blend can further reduce emissions.
In this trial, approximately 200 MT of a B30 biofuel blend of hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) and marine gas oil (MGO) provided by GoodFuels was bunkered in the Port of Vlissingen (Flushing) as the pilot fuel for LPG propulsion.
Prior to this trial, GCMD had successfully traced two supply chains of FAME-based biofuels blends with synthetic DNA from production to consumption through Singapore. In this most recent trial, GCMD collaborated with GoodFuels, Control Union and IDS to deploy an element-based tracer in HVO to assure its origination and quantity in the biofuel blend.
Unique to this trial, the tracer was dosed in-line with HVO and blended with MGO onboard the bunker vessel. Carbon dating was conducted in accordance with Standard EN 16640 to independently determine the biogenic carbon content given the chemical similarities between HVO and some of the components in MGO.
VPS witnessed the trial at all stages from biofuel transfer and onboard blending to bunkering aboard the Kaupang. VPS also conducted extensive laboratory tests on aliquots of the biofuel and biofuel blend collected at numerous pre-determined points along the supply chain to assess quality per Standards EN 15940 and ISO 8217.
The data collected from this trial augments those collected from the prior two supply chain trials for GCMD to further develop its assurance framework for drop-in green fuels. In the context of the recently updated guidelines, this framework should impart greater confidence in fuel purchasers meeting or exceeding IMO regulatory requirements.
On the completion of bunkering of this drop-in biofuel supply chain trial, Dr Sanjay Kuttan, Chief Technology Officer of GCMD, said:
“The experiences from this trial will strengthen the development of our framework to provide emissions abatement assurance when it comes to paying a premium for green fuels over fossil fuels. Through this pilot, we demonstrated that different tracing techniques can help ensure authenticity and quantity of sustainable biofuels in the supply chain. And using a biofuel blend with LPG can be a feasible pathway for ships to meet the recently revised IMO indicative decarbonisation checkpoint for 2030.”
The remaining two supply chains of the GCMD-led biofuels assurance framework pilot will be trialled in the upcoming months. Learnings from these trials and details of the assurance framework will be shared broadly through a public report in early 2024.