Photo: OOCL Poland/Illustration; Image courtesy: OOCL

OOCL gives biofuel a whirl

Hong Kong-based container shipping company Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) has completed a trial use of marine biofuel for the first time in its fleet.

The trial was carried out on OOCL Yokohama, a 4578-TEU container vessel. The containership was fueled with 1999.3 metric tons of B22 marine biofuel provided by Chevron Singapore from the Port of Singapore.

The biofuel was blended with ISCC-certified used cooking oil methyl ester as a 22% component in the very low sulfur fuel oil (VLSFO). The biofuel can be used on vessels without changing engine specifications and is expected to decrease approximately 15% to 20% of exhausted CO2 based on lifecycle analysis.​

The company follows in the footsteps of industry majors like CMA CGM, NYK, Cosco, Pacific Basin, Hoegh Autoliners and many more who are testing biofuel’s potential.

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The 41-day trial voyage commenced on 26 June and ended on 5 August. Deployed in OOCL’s AAA1 service in the Southeast Asia – Australia network, OOCL Yokohama started its round trip at Singapore, went southward to call at a number of Australian ports, and then returned to Singapore. 

We are very pleased with the positive results of the trial. Biofuels are considered to be one of the most credible options to enable the shipping industry both to meet future regulatory requirements, and to advance further with the transition towards decarbonization,” Mr. Kenny Ye, Chief Operating Officer at OOCL, said.

The success of this trial provides OOCL with certainty as to the feasibility of using sustainable biofuels on its ships, which gives us increased clarity over the next steps in our decarbonization journey.”

As Chevron looks to grow our marine biofuels business in the region, we are pleased with the success of the biofuel trial with OOCL,” said Mr. Frankie Lee, vice president of Chevron Product Supply and Trading, Asia Pacific.

“Chevron is committed to partnering with key shipowner customers to provide lower carbon solutions including biofuels. As partners with the Global Center for Maritime Decarbonisation (GCMD), we will play an active role in developing the biofuels landscape in Singapore.”

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OOCL has reduced the fleet’s direct greenhouse gas emissions intensity by 45% since 2008, according to the company’s data disclosed in its eleventh sustainability report. Initiatives that have led to these cuts include the implementation of environmentally-friendly vessel designs, investments in weather routing systems and cold ironing capabilities as well as the development of ship energy efficiency management plans.

The container shipping owner is targeting a GHG emission reduction of 55 percent by 2030.

The first six months of 2022 produced the highest half-year revenue in the group’s history, with a reported profit attributable to equity holders of $5,663.6 million, compared to a profit of $2,810.9 million for the same period in 2021. Year-on-year, OOCL’s, total revenue increased by 61%, and revenue per TEU increased by 74% driven by extraordinary conditions prevailing in the container shipping market.  

OOCL has 22 new ships on order. The twelve 23,000 TEU container vessels ordered in 2020 are expected to be delivered starting from 2023, and the ten 16,000 TEU container vessels ordered last year are scheduled to start delivery in the fourth quarter of 2024 spreading across 2025.

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