Unifeeder opts for carbon-neutral towage services

Denmark-based shortsea operator Unifeeder has started using carbon-neutral towage services to boost its decarbonization goals.

Photo: Unifeeder

Svitzer, a towage operator and part of Maersk, has decided to convert its whole fleet of ten tugs in London to be powered by carbon-neutral marine biofuel.

This enables DP World-owned Unifeeder to reduce its emissions and boost its green agenda, the company said.

Replacing marine fuel oil with the carbon-neutral biofuel enables Svitzer to offer a new towage service, called Ecotow, which unlocks approximately 90% CO2 reduction in Scope 3 emissions from their towage operations.

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As informed, Unifeeder will initially deploy Svitzer’s EcoTow services in London for all vessels which require towage services on the River Thames. Unifeeder has approximately 100 vessel assists in London annually.

“We are pleased that Svitzer has given us the opportunity to further improve our scope 3 emissions and we hope this will serve as an inspiration for our other vendors and partners,” Michael Bonde, COO, Network & Operations at Unifeeder, commented.

The Svitzer tugs will operate entirely on hydrogenated vegetable oil (HVO), which Svitzer considers a crucial first step in the roadmap towards a carbon-neutral towage sector.

The Ecotow product exclusively uses sustainable second-generation biofuels, which are fuels produced from waste material such as used cooking oil as feedstocks and are certified by ISSC or RSB. Relative to marine diesel, these biofuels reduce carbon emissions by 100% on a tank-to-wake basis and approximately 90% on a well-to-tank basis.

Although it is critical to lower all types of emissions regardless of scope, the scope 3 emissions are essential to focus on as these usually make up the majority of a company’s carbon footprint. On top of that, not many in the shipping industry have started to decarbonize scope 3 emissions, meaning that the potential to fast-track decarbonization in shipping within this specific scope is significant, according to Unifeeder.