Heinrich Oldendorff Carriers

Vale starts biofuel trial on Oldendorff’s Newcastlemax

Brazilian mining giant Vale, working in partnership with Oldendorff Carriers, has kick-started its first biofuel voyage on a bulk vessel.

Image credit Oldendorff Carriers

The trial is taking place on an Oldendorff vessel performing a laden Vale voyage from Brazil to Asia, carrying a full cargo of iron ore.

The Hinrich Oldendorff, built in 2016, loaded the biofuel in Singapore on October 16 on the ballast voyage to Brazil. The vessel then loaded Vale’s iron ore on November 28 at Guaiba Island Terminal and will consume the blended biofuel on the laden leg from Brazil to Asia.

The B24 biofuel on board is a blend of about 24% used cooking oil of vegetable origin (286 metric tonnes) and the balance is fuel oil. The product supplied is both European Union Renewable Energy Directive (EU RED) compliant and certified by International Sustainability & Carbon Certification (ISCC).

The expected well-to-wake COequivalent savings is around 18% or 784 metric tonnes of CO2 equivalent and will contribute to Vale’s Scope 3 emission reduction, Oldendorff said.

Using biofuel on the laden voyage is part of the Ecoshipping program, an R&D initiative developed by Vale shipping area to reduce the shipping greenhouse gas emissions in line with the ambitions set by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The program is testing and developing solutions for the use of alternative fuels for shipping, in addition to piloting new energy efficiency technologies.

“We are happy to have great shipping partners committed to support our initiatives and make it happen, genuine collaborations and partnerships will be the key of the success,” said Michelle Gonzalez, General Manager of Chartering, Long-Term Contracts and Operations at Vale.

“We are delighted that Vale has chosen Oldendorff Carriers for their first biofuel voyage. We look forward to investigating further opportunities together with Vale to advance the shipping and mining industries progress in achieving sustainability goals,” Patrick Hutchins, CEO of Oldendorff Carriers, commented.

Oldendorff Carriers has previously performed biofuel trials on smaller vessels and for shorter voyages, but this will be Oldendorff’s first full voyage consuming biofuel on a Newcastlemax.