Monjasa launches biofuel supply in Latin America

Monjasa, one of the world’s top 10 marine fuels suppliers, is charting a course toward a sustainable and scalable biofuel solution for the maritime sector in Latin America.

Image credit Monjasa

As the International Maritime Organization (IMO) sets its sights on full decarbonization of the shipping industry by 2050, drop-in biofuels are emerging as a viable short and medium-term option to meet these ambitious sustainability targets.

Monjasa sees the recently revised IMO 2050 Greenhouse Gas Strategy for global shipping as a significant boost to the green fuels industry, but stakeholders like Monjasa are calling for more concrete and binding requirements to expedite the transition away from fossil fuels for the global merchant fleet.

The strategic move positions Monjasa at the forefront of the changing landscape of marine fuels while awaiting the industry-wide shift from biofuel trial voyages to broader demand.

“Monjasa holds a unique position in the value chain between upstream fuel producers and downstream customers. Therefore, although our data indicates that the demand for biofuel blends is only emerging slowly, we keep preparing our global supply chains, fleet logistics and organisation for the fuel mix of tomorrow,” says Jesper Nielsen, Group Responsibility Director at Monjasa.

Monjasa’s recent efforts have been concentrated on Latin America, particularly the Colombian port of Cartagena. While already supplying traditional marine fuels in Colombia, the company has expanded its local maritime logistics to include a monthly capacity of 5,000-7,000 metric tonnes of 2nd generation biofuel blends, primarily B20 and B30.

A B20 biofuel blend comprises 20% Fatty Acid Methyl Ester (FAME) and 80% Very Low Sulphur Fuel Oil (VLSFO), making it an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional marine fuels.

“Together with our partners, we have enabled biofuels supply not only for the Colombian market, but potentially also for the main ports across Latin America, including the Panama Canal. Looking at the current demand, it is the large container lines who are showing concrete interest and driving demand for biofuels in this market. Looking towards 2025, we expect that biofuels will become a broadly accepted option to comply with IMO’s strategy on reducing CO2-emissions from maritime shipping,“ says Camilo Angulo Ferrand, Trading Manager at Monjasa Americas.

In a move to boost trust across the supply chain, Monjasa achieved the globally applicable sustainability certification system, ISCC, across its offices and operations in Panama, the USA, Denmark, Dubai, and Singapore by July 2023.

This certification enables all parties involved to trace the feedstock used for biofuel production from its origin to the end consumer. Additionally, ISCC allows Monjasa to measure greenhouse gas emissions at every stage of the supply chain, making this data available to shipowners.

Monjasa’s recent efforts in providing alternative fuels to the maritime industry go beyond Latin America. Namely, this summer the company completed the first-ever B24 biodiesel supply for a Very Large Gas Carrier (VLGC) off Dubai, a collaborative effort involving Astomos Energy, Inpex Corporation, and Monjasa. This milestone operation was carried out with the product being blended and supplied by Monjasa’s locally deployed tanker, Monjasa Shaker (9,600-dwt).

In Asia, Monjasa recently revealed new maritime logistics adaptable to biofuels supply in the Port of Singapore. This new operation will consist of a total of three vessels by the end of 2023.

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In 2022, Monjasa supplied a staggering 6.4 million tonnes of marine fuels and the company said it was determined to be a driving force behind tomorrow’s low-emission fuel mix for the shipping industry.