3 min read

Bio-Bunkering and Maritime Biofuels Show Industry Shift to Renewables

Bio-Bunkering and Maritime Biofuels Show Industry Shift to Renewables

As the transition to renewables gains speed, maritime fuels have long remained a difficult nut to crack. Shipping accounts for a stark majority of how world commerce operates. Yet technology gaps and prohibitive costs left the industry resistant to change.

However, the climate is shifting in maritime fuels. Bio-bunkering has experienced a marked increase in attention and adoption in a relatively short amount of time. Accordingly, many in the industry are actively investing in biofuels and seeking out fossil fuel alternatives.

In this post, check out a few current examples of what this market motion looks like in the maritime shipping industry.

Raízen and Wärtsilä Team Up to Examine Bioethanol as a Maritime Fuel Option

Brazilian energy company Raízen and technology firm Wärtsilä have entered into an agreement to make strides toward the decarbonization of the maritime industry.

The initiative will examine the potential of bioethanol as a marine fuel, in an effort to provide more sustainable fuel options and significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This project seeks to make a substantial contribution to the global energy transition discussion within the marine sector.

Paulo Neves, Raízen's vice-president of trading, emphasized the company’s hopes that ethanol can be a viable contributor toward a range of low-carbon solutions for the maritime sector.

Wärtsilä has already made significant progress under its fleet decarbonization program by bringing new sustainable solutions to market and improving engine efficiency. This partnership reflects the next step in taking that progress even further.

The two companies are set to carry out technological tests with ethanol as the primary fuel in Wärtsilä's Sustainable Fuels engine laboratories. This is part of an effort to support Raízen in engaging with ship designers and owners, complying with regulations for using cellulosic ethanol as fuel.

The partnership aligns with Raízen’s initial studies which suggest that replacing fossil fuels with sustainably produced ethanol can reduce CO2 emissions by up to 80% on a standard route from Brazil to Europe. Overall, this agreement represents a step towards the integration of clean energy solutions within the maritime sector.

Vopak Shifts Sebarok Terminal of Pipeline by 40,000 cbm to Blend Biofuels into Marine Fuels

Vopak, a renowned global storage and critical infrastructure services provider, has converted its production capacity at its Sebarok terminal to accommodate 40,000 cbm for blending biofuels into marine fuels.

This development, strategically located near Singapore's eastern anchorage, is significant due to its proximity to major bunkering actions. It is perfectly positioned to meet the rising demand for biofuel blending and storage solutions—both regionally and globally.

The initiative enables the Sebarok terminal to convert part of their existing capacity to biofuels. Doing so will create a sustainable multi-fuels hub that strengthens Singapore’s position as a leading bunkering destination.

Read More: Bio-Bunkering Gaining Traction as Calls for Decarbonization Grow

Vopak's move gives a green light for more biofuels companies to diversify the marine biofuels supply chain. This marks a major step to hasten the broader decarbonization of the shipping industry at large.

Since 2022, Vopak has conducted numerous biofuel trials with their customers, demonstrating the firm’s aggressive approach to pursuing new energies and sustainable feedstocks. Vopak has already committed €1 billion toward growth capital by 2030 to fast track this process.

The company's focus is to come up with new infrastructure solutions in low-carbon and renewable hydrogen (ammonia, liquid hydrogen, LOHC), CO2, sustainable fuels and feedstocks, and long duration energy storage.

Vitol Bunkers Releases Barge Capable of Delivering 100% Biofuel to Singapore Port

Vitol Bunkers has expanded its presence in the Asian marine biofuels market with the successful delivery of its first biofuel bunker barge, named the Marine Future, at the Singapore port.

This specialized bunker tanker, manufactured in China, is the newest addition to the V-Bunkers fleet and bears the notable IMO type 2 notation. It is unique in its capability to supply various biofuel blends, including B24, B30, and right up to B100, based on specific customer requirements.

With a 102.6m length, the Marine Future can carry an impressive 7,000 MT of biofuels. Bunker tankers currently operating in Singapore are restricted to a 25% biofuel blend. This newly arrived ship is not subject to such limitations, making it capable of delivering bunker fuels with 100% biofuel.

The shipping industry has remained somewhat resistant to biofuels. As technology, price, and availability have improved, however, this sentiment has changed substantially.

In 2023, Singapore recorded the sale of 520,000 tons of biofuels, a notable jump from the previous year's 140,000 tons. These numbers are only looking up, both in Singapore and beyond, for broader biofuel adoption in the maritime sector.

Download ResourceWise's Premium Bio-Bunkering Report to Learn More

Download free article from Prima CarbonZero's Green Diesel Report, "Biofuel Bunkering Gathers Pace."

As bio-bunkering continues to evolve, it's vital to comprehend the significance of freight in your value chain. Gain access to the newest updates on biofuel trends in maritime transport and the expanding portfolio of bio-bunkering hubs through ResourceWise's informative Biofuel Bunkering Gathers Pace Green Diesel Report.

The report provides:

  • Critical information about the current status of the bio-bunkering fuel sector
  • Comprehensive examination of discretionary goals and other elements fueling biofuel demand surge
  • Information on where new bio-bunkering hubs are emerging
  • Projected trends and expectations for the future of the industry

This report is normally available exclusively through a membership to our online biofuel and feedstock analytics platform, Prima CarbonZero. Download your copy today and have your premium insights delivered right to your inbox.