NYK bullish on biofuels’ role in maritime decarbonization

Biofuels could play an important role in decarbonizing the maritime industry which is under pressure to gradually reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, Takuya Koizumi, general manager of NYK’s Decarbonization Group, said.

Takuya Koizumi, general manager of NYK’s Decarbonization Group, speaks at the Asia and the Pacific Transport Forum. Courtesy of NYK

Koizumi was one of the speakers at the “Asia and the Pacific Transport Forum” hosted by the Asian Development Bank in Manila, Philippines, on May 17. At the event, Koizumi presented NYK’s decarbonization strategy, emphasizing the role of biofuel and a gradual transition in maritime decarbonization. 

Biofuels are made from organic resources (biomass) of biological origin, such as agricultural residues and waste cooking oil, and are considered to have virtually zero carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions when combusted. Since they can be used in heavy-oil-powered ship engines, which are common on large merchant ships, biofuels are considered a key means of reducing GHG emissions in the transition period from heavy oil to zero-emission fuels.

On the other hand, the various risks associated with the long-term use of such biofuels have not been fully evaluated.

Therefore, the Japanese shipping company has launched a joint six-month project trialing the continuous use of biofuels onboard a vessel.

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This project is in collaboration with the Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation (GCMD), a Singapore-based non-profit organization supporting the decarbonization of the maritime industry. The findings will be open to the public as guidelines for continuous and extended biofuel use so that this project can contribute to decarbonization by facilitating an energy transition in international shipping.

Earlier this year, the company broke ground on a test engine facility aimed at evaluating the safety and practical application of biofuels for maritime use.

The company’s latest venture towards sustainable shipping is being constructed in Chiba Prefecture.

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