MOL tests biofuel on LNG carrier during vessel’s sea trials

Japanese shipping company Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) has revealed that its company Aquarius LNG Shipping Limited conducted sea trials of its vessel, liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier Papua, using biofuel.


Biofuel is positioned as an effective alternative to fossil fuels in the MOL Group’s new environmental strategy, which was announced in June 2021. 

Approximately 1,500 tons of biofuel was supplied by ExxonMobil Marine Limited on the vessel at Port of Singapore.

The marine biofuel used is a 0.50% sulphur residual-based fuel (VLSFO) processed with up to 25 percent waste-based fatty acid methyl esters (FAME). The bio-component has been accredited by the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC) organisation.

By using biofuel, MOL expects to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Earlier on, MOL has teamed up with Singapore-based bunkering services provider TotalEnergies Marine Fuels to conduct the first biofuel bunker operation for a vehicle carrier in Singapore.

The MOL-operated car and truck carrier, Heroic Ace, was refueled with TotalEnergies-supplied biofuel via ship-to-ship transfer, while the carrier performed cargo operations simultaneously. MOL’s initial analysis of the vehicle carrier’s engine and machinery performance has demonstrated high compatibility and safe use of the biofuel onboard the vessel.

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The 290-meter-long ship Papua was built in 2015 by Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding (Group) Co., Ltd. to provide LNG transportation for PNG LNG project in Papua New Guinea. It was the first in a series of four ships to be built by Chinese Hudong for the PNG LNG project in Papua New Guinea and the Gorgon Jansz LNG project in Australia. 

The project scope is for the transportation of LNG for China’s major energy company, China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (SINOPEC). The vessel is co-owned by a major Chinese ship-owner, China Shipping (Group) Company and SINOPEC, meaning there is a very substantial Chinese involvement in the project.

MOL has been operating Papua under a long-term charter contract for the project operated by ExxonMobil.

Meanwhile, the Japanese company has also placed an order for six 174,000-cbm LNG carriers of the latest generation of the ‘Changheng Series’ at Hudong Zhonghua. The value of the deal is about 7.5 billion yuan or $1.18 billion.

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