Photo: Norden

Norden moves forward with carbon-neutral biofuel tests

Danish shipping company Dampskibsselskabet Norden A/S continues its research into alternative green transport options by carrying out a third test voyage using biofuel.

Henrik Røjel, Head of Fuel Efficiency and Decarbonisation joined the bulk carrier Nord Biscay as it loaded in Ust-Luga, Russia, to prepare the crew to undertake the test.

“I’m working with engineers on board to practice how to collect the performance and emissions data we need from the main engine,” Røjel said.

Image Courtesy: Norden

The test will take place over the next few days as the 2019-built ship sails towards the Black Sea, propelled solely on the biofuel made from waste vegetable oil.

Depending on the outcome, Norden could be ready to offer biofuel to its clients by next year.

Currently, ocean-going vessels are powered on low sulphur fuel oil or low sulphur gasoil but Røjel believes biofuel to be a viable carbon-neutral alternative.

“We know from previous testing that it’s a reliable fuel from which we can generate sufficient power output – and crucially vessels would not need to be modified to use it.”

The development would be a significant boost to Norden’s journey to cut carbon emissions. If just ten of its vessels switched to biofuel, this would equate to a CO2 reduction of 150,000 tonnes per year, or 4% of total emissions, the company said.

In September 2018, Norden became the first ever to conduct a test voyage on a large ocean-going vessel powered by CO2 neutral. Since then, it engaged in several biofuel testing projects.

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Last year, it also partnered up with compatriot Kvasir Technologies, a spinout from the Technical University of Denmark, on a biofuel project.

Shifting exposure from tankers to dry cargo

Norden also continues to shift its exposure from the tanker segment to dry cargo, in response to current market conditions.

As informed, the company has sold two tankers over the past few weeks. The ships in question are the MR tanker Nord Pearl and the Handysize tanker Nord Butterfly.

Meanwhile, Norden has purchased two secondhand dry bulk carriers – one Supramax planned for delivery later this month, and a Kamsarmax scheduled to be handed over in April 2021.

The new vessels will join the core fleet of NOorden-owned and -leased tanker and dry cargo vessels under the company’s Asset Management business unit. 

The transactions are said to be in line with Norden’s asset trading strategy and active management of its market exposure. Norden sees attractive dry cargo asset opportunities after a long period with declining values.

“For the next 12 months, we see more favourable market conditions and potential upside in the dry cargo market, as the world economy gradually recovers following Covid-19”, Jan Rindbo, CEO of Norden, said.

“Our asset trading strategy means we continually look for opportunities in the market to optimise our fleet, and it provides us the flexibility to adjust our ongoing exposure towards either dry cargo or tankers, depending on the given market developments.”