GCMD and NYK witness first biofuel bunkering in Project LOTUS

The Global Center for Maritime Decarbonization (GCMD) and Japanese shipping player NYK Line are advancing their Project LOTUS for testing the long-term impact of continuous use of biofuels on vessel operations with the first bunkering of biofuel blend on NYK’s short-sea vehicle carrier.

Courtesy of GCMD

The first bunkering of B24 biofuel blend (FAME + VLSFO) on NYK’s vessel follows the launch of Project LOTUS in May 2024.

To remind, the six-month project sets out to trial the continuous use of biofuels to study its impact on engine performance and onboard systems operations as well as fuel quality and fuel delivery system.

This pilot will also evaluate the total cost of ownership of using biofuels, covering the cost of fuel and additional maintenance costs associated with its use.

Additionally, it will identify potential challenges, e.g., corrosion of engine systems and valve failures, related to continuous biofuel use, and recommend mitigation strategies.

The quantitative findings from Project LOTUS are expected to offer an opportunity to contribute complementary real-world data to the upcoming revision of ISO 8217:2024, which includes the specification of standards for a wider range of FAME-based blends up to B100.

Moreover, these learnings will be crucial for shipowners and operators considering biofuel use to meet vessel compliance with regulations, like Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII) and the FuelEU Maritime Standards.

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