CMA CGM and Swedish home furnishings giant Ikea have completed a trial shipment of goods using a vessel powered by bio-fuel.

On a recent voyage between Asia and North Europe, the 16,000 teu CMA CGM Alexander van Humboldt was powered by heavy fuel oil-equivalent bio-fuel oil (BFO), which is claimed to be “virtually SOx-free and delivers 80-90% well-to-propeller CO2 reduction versus fossil equivalents”.

The project was part of the multi-party GoodShipping Programme, dedicated to making container shipments less polluting, which also includes DHL Global Forwarding as a partner,.

“We are pleased to conclude that this pilot has been successful and that it has been proven possible to use advanced bio-fuel oil on oceangoing vessels,” said Elisabeth Munck af Rosenschöld, head of sustainability at IKEA global transport & logistics services.

“It is only through collaboration and partnerships between major players, including cargo owners, ship operators and solution providers, that we can achieve real change at fast pace.

“We need a diversified portfolio of solutions to achieve our ambitious emissions reduction targets – and marine biofuels are an important part of the puzzle going forward for our sector,” she added.

BFO is also a so-called “drop-in fuel”, which means no modification is needed to vessel engines or fuel infrastructure and is a blend of waste cooking oil and forest residues sourced from Europe.

“Forest residues are industrial waste streams from paper and pulp production. Most wood waste streams are currently used to co-fire power plants and upgrading this waste into advanced low-carbon marine biofuels, replacing heavy fuel oil, is considered a more sustainable and economical use of the waste product,” said BFO supplier GoodFuels.

Xavier Leclercq, vice president of CMA Ships at CMA CGM Group, said: “These landmark trials give the maritime sector a vital demonstration into the scalability, sustainability and technical compliance of marine bio-fuel oil, confirming CMA CGM’s leading role in the energy transition of the industry.”

Dirk Kronemeijer, GoodShipping Programme chief executive added: “The success of this test programme builds further evidence of the important role that bio-fuel oil will play in the marine fuel mix, and proves that initiatives already exist on the market for cargo owners to realise their decarbonisation goals.

“The programme is committed to helping more cargo owners unlock the potential of this direct decarbonisation option in the near future, as our sector continues to establish and embrace its wider carbon reduction efforts.”

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