NYK, Asahi Shipping & Kobe Steel trial biofuel

Japanese shipping heavyweight Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK) in cooperation with its subsidiary Asahi Shipping and compatriot steel production major Kobe Steel has completed a biofuel ship-to-ship bunkering operation on the bulk carrier Sunrise Serenity.

Image credit NYK

The transfer took place on July 28 at the port of Kobe in Hyogo Prefecture.

The vessel was supplied with biofuel by Toyota Tsusho Marine Fuels Corporation and consumed biofuel on its route to the port of Newcastle, Australia.

Sunrise Serenity carries cargoes for Kobe Steel. The vessel is operated and managed by Asahi Shipping and jointly owned by NYK and Asahi Shipping.

The test voyage was a joint effort by the three companies, each with its own aim. Namely, NYK has a long-term goal to reduce GHG emissions in its oceangoing businesses to “achieve net zero emissions by 2050.” Asahi Shipping aims to decarbonize marine transport in its supply chain and Kobe Steel aims for a sustainable society through integrated efforts to promote a low-carbon, recycling-based society.

Biofuels can be used in marine engines as an alternative to heavy oil. Biofuels are made from organic resources (biomass) derived from living organisms and are considered to have virtually zero CO2 emissions when burned.

The fuel is refined by methyl esterification of vegetable oils and is expected to be an alternative fuel to petroleum-derived heavy crude and light oil.

The three companies expect the test voyage will contribute to spreading the biofuel supply chain in the Kansai and Setouchi areas.

NYK, Asahi Shipping, and Kobe Steel said they will share the knowledge from this test voyage to promote decarbonization initiatives.