Inpex and Astomos to supply Middle East’s first-ever marine biofuel for VLGC

Japanese LPG trader and importer Astomos Energy Corporation and compatriot energy company Inpex Corporation have reached an agreement to supply B24 biofuel bunker to a very large gas carrier (VLGC) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Illustration (Archive). Courtesy of Astomos Energy Corporation

The agreement will see Inpex supply B2 biofuel to the VLGC chartered by Astomos through a bunker vessel operated by oil and shipping company Monjasa at Khor Fakkan port in the UAE emirate of Sharjah.

The partners pointed out that this will be the first instance in which biofuel is supplied to a VLGC in the Middle East.

B24 biofuel consists of 24% fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) and 76% very low sulfur fuel oil (VLSFO), a conventional bunker fuel. Dubai-based Neutral Fuels will produce the FAME from waste cooking oil collected from restaurants and hotels in the UAE and Monjasa will supply the VLSFO and blend it with the FAME.

The use of B24 biofuel is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by 15~20% compared to conventional bunker fuel.

Astomos launched Japan’s first LPG-fueled VLGC in 2021 toward the realization of the Japanese government’s “Carbon Neutral Society by 2050” policy. Furthermore, it has established the “Green Business Development Office” for the purpose of strategic planning and promotion from a long-term and comprehensive perspective regarding efforts to build a low-carbon society.

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In partnership with NYK and Sustainable Energy, the company is also taking part in a study on generating biofuel from the organic waste stored onboard oceangoing vessels.

On the other hand, the new agreement is aligned with the objectives set out by Inpex in its Long-term Strategy and Medium-term Business Plan (INPEX Vision @2022) announced in February 2022.

At the beginning of this year, Inpex also officially committed to clean energy development in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

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