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Japanese Shipping Giant Successfully Tests the Use of Biofuel for a Bulk Carrier

From LNG (liquefied natural gas) and biofuel to hybrid propulsion systems, big names in the global shipping industry are slowly but surely introducing sustainable solutions that will eventually make this sector greener. It takes longer for maritime transportation to become decarbonized compared to other mobility sectors, but even small steps count.
The Japanese company carried out its successful biofuel trial on a cargo ship 6 photos
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One of the largest shipping companies in the world, Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK Line), was founded back in 1885 through the merger of Mitsubishi Mail Steamship Company and Kyodo Unyu Kaisha. After more than 130 years of operations, the Japanese shipping company is now embarking on a journey towards a sustainable future.

NYK was one of the first companies to start conducting biofuel trials for various types of cargo vessels. After three previous tests that were carried out since 2019, it now added a fourth successful trial, confirming the potential of biofuel. The project was carried out together with Seanergy Maritime, the owner of the Friendship vessel, and the global mining company Anglo American. It was NYK’s first biofuel trial in cooperation with Seanergy and the second one with Anglo American.

During the project, the Friendship bulker completed a two-way journey between Singapore and Saldanha Bay in South Africa. The results showed that the voyage was completed with 10% less CO2 emissions than if the vessel had been running on conventional heavy oil.

The biofuel was provided by TotalEnergies Marine Fuels, which is in charge of bunkering activities at the Port of Singapore. Biofuel is considered carbon neutral because, although it releases CO2 when it’s burned, the raw materials that were used to obtain it are plants that absorb CO2. This way, the carbon dioxide that is absorbed by the source of the fuel’s biomass is equal to the one that’s released during combustion.

LNG and biofuel are considered some of the best solutions that shipping companies can implement in order to meet the environmental requirements, which are set to become increasingly harsher by the end of the decade. Until innovative green propulsion systems can be used on a wide scale, alternative fuels are the answer for sustainable maritime cargo transportation.

Editor's note: Gallery showing various NYK Line vessels

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