PIL tests marine biofuel as a potential drop-in fuel solution

Singapore-based shipping company Pacific International Lines (PIL) is conducting a trial use of marine biofuel on its container vessel as part of its efforts to achieve decarbonisation objectives.

Kota Megah. Courtesy of PIL

As disclosed, the company started the trial on its containership Kota Megah when it called at the Port of Singapore on Sunday, 10 April.

Kota Megah. Courtesy of PIL

The goal of the trial is to test the feasibility of using marine biofuel on the engines of the vessel and to obtain first-hand data on the potential carbon and other emissions.

With the obtained results, PIL expects to be able to better assess the technical and commercial viability of using biofuel as a potential “drop-in” fuel solution to achieve the overall reduction in carbon emissions of its vessels.

The type of biofuel on trial is a blend of fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) and very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO).

FAME is a renewable alternative fuel largely produced from recycled cooking oils and renewable oil sources which has physical properties similar to conventional diesel. It is also said to be non-toxic and biodegradable.

Lars Kastrup, co-president and executive director of PIL, said: “This marine biofuel trial is another important step for us in our journey towards reducing carbon emissions across our fleet. While we have identified LNG, which reduces carbon emissions by around 20%, as the most immediate and pragmatic transitional fuel option for the ships which we recently ordered, we are also looking at similar practical solutions for our existing ships.

“We will continue to play our part in exploring and investing in the variety of decarbonisation solutions and technologies. We believe such investments are necessary to support the scaling up of the supply and infrastructure so as to enable the widespread adoption of the net zero fuels of the future.”

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