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CBH Group leads Australia’s 1st marine biofuel trial on sustainable barley shipment

Photo: CBH Group

The CBH Group has partnered with leading dry bulk operator Oldendorff Carriers to conduct the first biofuel trial on a grain vessel exporting from Australia.

CBH Marketing and Trading is shipping 30,000 metric tons of sustainably certified malting barley aboard the Edwine Oldendorff, which was set to depart Jan. 9 from the Albany Grain Terminal bound for Vietnam.

The vessel will be bunkered with a biofuel blend for the trial, supplied by integrated energy company BP. The biofuel blend is estimated to produce about 15 percent less greenhouse gas emissions for this journey than conventional fossil fuels.

Jason Craig, CBH chief marketing and trading officer, said the cooperative was proud to be pioneering efforts, alongside two of its global partners, to explore ways to reduce its carbon footprint along the supply chain.

“Customers across the world are increasingly seeking to source sustainable products, including sustainable grain,” Craig said. “It is our role, as Australia’s leading grain exporter, to take the necessary steps to lower carbon emissions along our supply chain. Biofuel is one low-carbon option that could be part of the solution to reducing emissions in the shipping industry.”

The malting barley, which is accredited as sustainable under the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification program, is set for Vietnam’s leading malting company, Intermalt.

Intermalt services a number of brewing customers, the largest being Heineken, which has set a target of a carbon neutral value chain by 2040.

“We need to meet the growing market demand for sustainable or carbon-reduced grain by being proactive, practical and adapting,” Craig said. “By doing this, we are making sure we can continue to keep our Western Australia growers competitive.”

The trial will provide information on how the vessel engine responds to biofuel, its speed and efficiency, and measure the emissions it produces.

“We are excited to be working alongside our key global partners to conduct this trial, which will provide valuable information and help pave the way for a more sustainable grain industry,” Craig said.

Ben Harper, managing director at Oldendorff Carriers Melbourne, said, “We are very pleased to be collaborating with industry leader CBH to trial biofuel in our vessel, Edwine Oldendorff. Collaboration is crucial for us all to learn and share information about the best paths in our efforts to decarbonize the supply chain.”

In 2020-’21, CBH sold 1.2 million tons of sustainably certified grain and reduced scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions on a per-ton basis by 38 percent from the previous year.

“Our increased focus on sustainability means our co-op will remain strong for future generations and Western Australian growers are well placed to meet future market expectations,” Craig said.



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