In a hurry to clean up shipping?

Members Corner

Source: UECC, 2021-03-24

Make haste, not waste. In a hurry to clean up shipping? The answer lies in fries.

Car and truck carrier UECC runs its Auto Sky vessel on CO2-free sustainable biofuel made from spent fast-food cooking oil. By giving this otherwise unusable waste a place in the value chain, UECC is contributing to the creation of a circular economy, with carbon-neutral transport as the result.

Significantly, the carbon reduction resulting from 6200 t of biofuel consumed by Auto Sky is around 20600 t of CO2, or a 60% reduction in carbon intensity compared to conventional heavy fuel oil, far ahead of the IMO target of 40% by 2030.

The biofuel feedstock, provided by Dutch supplier GoodFuels, is certified sustainable by the International Standard on Carbon Certification (ISCC) and has full accreditation from the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB), guaranteeing that it does not come from an environmentally disruptive source and cannot be used for food or any other higher quality purpose. The fuel is the lowest commercial grade, combustible only in giant ships’ engines.

Auto Sky is 20 years old, but with a good ten years of life ahead of her, proving that legacy tonnage can be made carbon-neutral. For UECC to make the switch to biofuel on this particular vessel, all they had to do was clean out the tanks to prepare for the green fuel.

“The point is to do what you can now with what you have,” says Daniel Gent, Energy & Sustainability Manager at UECC. “We want to prove that the marine community can begin to decarbonise right now. Practically any vessel that runs on marine fuels can run on biofuel, allowing the ship to run clean for the rest of its life.”

Now governments need to pick up their end, Gent says. “Right now this green fuel is made more affordable through public support schemes, which need to be expanded until the market reaches critical mass. We would run the entire fleet on biofuel if we could, and cargo owners are eager to transport their products on low-carbon ships in order to meet their own goals of a reduced environmental footprint. If all stakeholders work together, we can decarbonise much of the existing fleet.”

UECC has started sourcing bio-methane from urban waste streams as well, to fuel their newer, gas-fuelled vessels. “UECC is in front of the green shift in shipping,” confirms UECC CEO Glenn Edvardsen. “We want to prove that marine transport can be decarbonised, and we invite all stakeholders to join us on this journey.”


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