Maersk to Test Biofuel on Its Triple E Vessel

Danish shipping giant Maersk has partnered up with members of the Dutch Sustainable Growth Coalition (DSGC) in the world’s largest maritime biofuel pilot project.

Illustration; Image Courtesy: Maersk

Using up to 20% sustainable second-generation biofuels on a large triple-E ocean vessel, the pilot would see the ship sail 25.000 nautical miles from Rotterdam to Shanghai and back on biofuel blends alone, a world’s first at this scale, saving 1,5 million kilograms CO2 and 20.000 kilograms of sulphur. The voyage will take place between March and June 2019.

The DSGC members, including FrieslandCampina, Heineken, Philips, DSM, Shell and Unilever, initiated and sponsor the pilot. Shell, acts as the fuel supplier for the pilot, and Maersk plays the role as operating partner.

“This pilot testing biofuel on a cross ocean shipping lane, marks an important step. However, many more innovations are urgently needed. These can only be successfully developed, tested and implemented in industry collaborations like this,” Jan Peter Balkenende, Chair of the DSGC, said.

“To reach our net zero CO2 target by 2050, in the next 10 years we need big breakthroughs. Maersk cannot do this alone. That is why this collaboration with DSGC and its members is such an important step in identifying and bringing low carbon solutions to life,” Søren Toft, Chief Operating Officer A.P. Moller – Maersk, said.

“We welcome others to join in our efforts, as this journey is just beginning,” Toft added.

Shipping accounts for 90% of transported goods and 3% of total global CO2-emissions, and is set to rise to 15% by 2050 if left unchecked. The parties explained that the CO2 savings of this journey alone equate to the annual CO2 emitted by over 200 households in a year or 12 million kilometers travelled in an average car.