Bp’s marine biofuel will be trialled on Rio Tinto’s RTM Tasman vessel on Transatlantic and Atlantic-Pacific routes. The results are expected to help Rio Tinto’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions from its marine fleet and inform its future biofuel strategy.
In a statement, Laure Baratgin, Rio Tinto head of commercial operations, said: “Sustainable biofuels have the potential to be an important transition fuel on the way to net-zero marine emissions and we are pleased to be working with bp to carry out this long-term trial.
“A longer-duration trial will provide important information on the potential role and wide scale use of biofuels, and aligns with our goals to reduce marine emissions across our value chain and support efforts to decarbonise the maritime industry.
“Our ambition is to reach net-zero emissions from shipping of our products to customers by 2050 and to introduce net-zero carbon vessels into our portfolio by 2030. We know that we won’t meet these ambitions alone and along the way will need to work with capable and experienced companies such as bp.”
The extended trial agreement follows a successful journey on the RTM Tasman after it refuelled with biofuel in Rotterdam in March 2022 for the first time and then picked up its first load of the trial at the Iron Ore Company of Canada’s Sept-Îles port in Quebec in April. All biofuel refuelling during the trial will be at Rotterdam.
The trial is using a bp-manufactured B30 biofuel blend composed of 30 per cent fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) blended with very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO). According to bp, this B30 biofuel blend can reduce lifecycle carbon dioxide emissions by up to 26 per cent compared to standard marine fuel oil.
FAME is a biodiesel largely produced from recycled cooking oils and renewable oil sources with physical properties similar to conventional diesel. It is a ‘drop in fuel’, requiring no modifications to the engine or vessel, and the origination and production of the feedstocks used to produce the FAME is certified for its sustainability to internationally recognised standards.
Working with bp and the ship managers Anglo Eastern, the trial will analyse a series of engine and fuel performance factors, including engine efficiency and fuel consumption, corrosion and degradation, microbial growth, temperature impact, fuel switching impacts and fuel stability.
Sven Boss-Walker, senior vice president refining & products trading, bp said: “Sustainable biofuels are important to help decarbonise the shipping industry in the near- and mid-term as we transition towards longer term net zero solutions. These trials are part of our ongoing efforts to help accelerate the shipping industry’s energy transition.”