Marubeni: World’s first ethylene voyage using biofuel completed

Japanese general trading company Marubeni Corporation has conducted a trial voyage on one of its chartered vessels using a marine biofuel blend, from Vlissingen, the Netherlands to Morgan’s Point, Texas, USA.

Marubeni
Courtesy of Marubeni

To the best of our knowledge, this is the first biofuel supply to an ethylene carrier in the world,” Marubeni revealed.

The ethylene carrier GasChem Dollart was supplied with B25 marine biofuel in Vlissingen, the Netherlands on 21 September 2022, consisting of approximately 25% fatty acid methyl ester (FAME), blended with very low sulfur fuel oil (VLSFO).

The biofuel blend was delivered at Vlissingen by BP Europa SE – BP Nederland, a subsidiary of BP p.l.c. GasChem Dollart. Operated by GasChem Services, the ship is on a long-term time charter to Marubeni.

As explained, the voyage was aimed at understanding whether technical issues such as combustibility and stability arise when biofuel is used. Marubeni is providing logistic services for ethylene transportation globally and is one of the biggest players in the global ethylene market. This trial is one of the company’s steps to provide solutions to its customers to achieve decarbonisation.

The FAME component of the marine biofuel blend used in this trial led to a reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the voyage on a lifecycle, well-to-wake approach. Biofuel blends are particularly helpful as a “drop-in” solution available to existing fleets without the need for modifications to the engine or infrastructure in most applications.

FAME is a biofuel – more commonly known as biodiesel – which is largely produced from recycled used cooking oils and renewable oil sources. FAME has physical properties similar to those of conventional diesel and is biodegradable. The origination and production of the FAME used in the trial is certified to the ISCC system – a leading multistakeholder certification scheme for biobased materials. This certification requires that sustainability criteria are followed throughout the supply chain.

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