Used cooking oil (UCO) is being utilised in a maritime biofuel pilot project involving a group of Dutch multinationals and Denmark’s AP Moller-Maersk, the world’s largest container ship and supply vessel operator.
A large triple-E ocean vessel, using up to 20% second-generation biofuels, will sail 25,000 nautical miles from Rotterdam to Shanghai and back between March and June, a world’s first at this scale, saving 1.5M kg of carbon dioxide and 20,000kg of sulphur, Maersk said on 22 March.
The Dutch companies involved – FrieslandCampina, Heineken, Philips, DSM, Shell and Unilever – are all members of the Dutch Sustainable Growth Coalition (DSGC).
“Shipping accounts for 90% of transported goods and 3% of total global CO2 emissions, and is set to rise to 15% by 2050 if left unchecked,” Maersk said.
“DSGC members and Maersk all agree that tackling harmful emissions related to shipping is urgently needed, and that cross-industry collaboration is required to develop, test and implement new solutions.
“Sustainably sourced second-generation biofuels are just one possible solution for the decarbonisation of ocean shipping. Longer term, breakthroughs in fuel and technical development (e-fuels) and the investment into commercial supply chains are needed to achieve significant emissions reductions,” the company said.
Maersk chief operating office Søren Toft said that through the pilot, “we aim to learn more about using biofuels in general, and to understand the possibilities around increasing its usage in a sustainable and economical way.”