GS Caltex, POSCO, H-Line

GS Caltex, POSCO, and H-Line Shipping join forces on biofuel trial

South Korea’s shipping major H-Line Shipping and steel giant POSCO have joined hands with compatriot refiner GS Caltex to champion carbon reduction in the maritime realm by using marine biofuel.

Image credit: GS Caltex

The three companies inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on October 5, 2023 in Seoul, signaling the commencement of a joint initiative in the biofuel space as part of their commitment to reducing carbon emissions in the shipping industry.

The partnership unites three critical elements of the global maritime logistics value chain: a petroleum company providing biofuels, a steel manufacturer responsible for raw material transportation, and a shipping conglomerate managing vessels.

By early October, POSCO intends to introduce biofuel onboard one of its dedicated bulk carriers, entrusted to the operational stewardship of H-Line Shipping, for a trial voyage.

GS Caltex’s marine biofuel holds the “ISCC EU” certification for its environmental friendliness. The marine biofuels comprise 30 percent biodiesel derived from used cooking oil and 70 percent high-sulfur fuel oil(HSFO). Biodiesel reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 80% compared to conventional fuels.

Furthermore, biofuel is lauded as a practical and cost-effective solution for carbon reduction in the shipping sector, requiring minimal infrastructure investments or the construction of new vessels.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) formally acknowledged the carbon reduction effectiveness of biofuels during its 80th Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC80) meeting held in London in July 2023.

The introduction of biofuels is expected to play a pivotal role in helping POSCO achieve its carbon neutrality goals as a shipper while assisting H-Line Shipping in complying with carbon regulations.

GS Caltex has already cooperated with South Korea’s flagship carrier HMM on the supply of biofuels in the maritime sector. In September, HMM announced that it had achieved a 24% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions during its trial use of marine biofuel compared to conventional fuels.

The trial took place on board the company’s 6,400TEU containership HMM Tacoma calling in Busan, South Korea.

HMM Tacoma, operated in FIL service connecting Far East, India and Latin America, was refueled with the biofuel blend during its bunkering at the Port of Busan.