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Cepsa begins distributing marine biofuel at Port of Barcelona

Photo: Cepsa

Cepsa, a leading supplier of energy for maritime transport in Spain, announced Oct. 2 that it has undertaken the largest supply of second-generation biofuels to date at the Port of Barcelona.

This operation, conducted on a 350-meter container vessel operated by Hapag-Lloyd in the Mediterranean, marks the energy company’s inaugural venture in Barcelona and positions the Port of Barcelona as a key player in the decarbonization of maritime transportation.

The supplied marine biofuel contains 24 percent biodiesel (B24) made from used cooking oil, which will prevent the emission of 2,860 tons of CO2, equivalent to planting 34,300 trees.

With this supply, Cepsa said it further solidifies its position as a benchmark in the energy transition and a leader in the supply of energy for maritime transportation.

With over 90 years of experience and a presence in more than 60 Spanish ports, the company said it continues to lead the way in this sector.

Currently, the energy company can supply these sustainable fuels by barge in the Port of Barcelona and the area of the Strait of Gibraltar, and by tanker in all the ports in which it operates. “Second-generation biofuels can be used in ships without the need for modifications to their engines, and they have a high potential for reducing CO2 emissions compared to conventional fossil fuels, achieving a reduction of up to 90 percent, which makes them an ideal immediate solution,” said Samir Fernández, director of marine-fuel solutions at Cepsa. “That’s why we want to make them available in all the ports in which we operate and lead their production in this decade to help our customers meet their own decarbonization challenges.”

The use of biofuels enables shipping companies to stay ahead of the objectives of the European Union and the International Maritime Organization.

Specifically, the European Commission’s Fit for 55 package includes the “Fuel EU Maritime” legislative initiative, which aims to reduce greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions intensity in maritime transport by 2 percent in 2025, 6 percent in 2030 and 80 percent in 2050, compared to 2020 levels, through the use of sustainable fuels.

Concurrently, the IMO has recently updated its strategy for reducing GHG emissions in maritime transportation, establishing ambitious targets that will incrementally rise from 20 percent in 2030 to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, compared to 2008 levels.

“This initiative further underscores Cepsa’s unwavering commitment to second-generation biofuels as a catalyst for advancing the decarbonization of maritime transportation,” Cepsa stated.

It complements other recent supply efforts, including this summer’s supplies for 84 ferry voyages by Naviera Armas Trasmediterránea at the Port of Algeciras, as well as the recent supply operation in Algeciras using the hybrid supply vessel Bahía Levante.

The company had previously conducted successful tests of these sustainable fuels within its own fleet, demonstrating optimal engine performance and efficiency.

Cepsa has a diversified portfolio of solutions to facilitate the decarbonization of maritime transport.

In addition to biofuels, it includes products such as liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Moreover, Cepsa will be able to supply synthetic marine fuels, such as green ammonia or methanol, in the future.

The company will produce them within the Andalusian Green Hydrogen Valley, the largest green-hydrogen project in Europe.

Through its 2030 strategy, “Positive Motion,” Cepsa aims to lead sustainable mobility and promote the decarbonization of heavy transport (air, maritime and land) through the production of green molecules.

The company aspires to be the leading biofuel producer in Spain and Portugal by 2030, with a production capacity of 2.5 million tons annually, and green hydrogen, with 2 gigawatts of electrolysis capacity.

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