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  • CSL Group Inc.

CSL ships set company record for B100 consumption in 2023

The 34,490 deadweight-tonnage (DWT) self-unloading ship MV Baie Comeau is one of eight vessels participating in CSL’s biofuel program. (Photo: CSL Group Inc.)

Marine transportation-services company CSL Group Inc. announced Dec. 8 a significant milestone in its Great Lakes biofuel program, one of the longest-running initiatives of its kind in the maritime industry.  

With a cumulative 75,000 running hours on 100 percent biodiesel (B100) over the past four years, CSL ships have made significant strides in supporting decarbonization efforts by replacing 55,000 metric tons of fossil fuel with biodiesel and avoiding 156,000 tons of CO2. 


“Unlike other shipping companies that are just getting started with their biofuel initiatives, we have moved past the testing phase and are running biodiesel as part of our business—just one of the many ways we are reducing carbon in our operations,” said Louis Martel, president and CEO of CSL Group. 


“In 2023, our biofuel fleet set a new record by using 16,400 metric tons of B100 biodiesel in a single season, marking our highest consumption to date,” Martel added. “This translates into an 80 percent to 90 percent reduction in greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions, leading to the avoidance of 50,000 metric tons of CO2 across our Great Lakes fleet.” 


CSL initiated its biofuel journey in 2019 with a B50 blend, gradually progressing to B80 and, in 2020, running two ships on B100—pure biodiesel produced entirely from waste plant material unrelated to food production.  


Since 2021, eight CSL vessels have run continuously on B100 for five to eight months per year, proving the technical viability and practicality of biofuel in reducing well-to-wake GHG emissions and meeting regulatory limits for SOx and NOx emissions. 


“In 2024, eight of our Great Lakes ships will run on biofuel, and we hope to eventually extend the program across our entire Great Lakes fleet,” Martel said. “Biofuel offers a practical and low-risk solution toward a decarbonized marine industry, but we need government support to ensure it remains affordable. CSL is proud to lead the way in showcasing the effectiveness of biofuel, and we call on governments and industry stakeholders to accelerate the adoption of sustainable practices in maritime transportation.” 


CSL Group said since 2019, its biofuel program has played a pivotal role in shaping industry standards.  


CSL’s data has been used by the International Maritime Organization and classification societies to advance progress on biofuel use in the maritime sector and has informed organizations like the International Council on Combustion Engines (CIMAC) and original-equipment manufacturers. 


The CSL Group is a provider of complex marine solutions and, according to the company, the largest owner and operator of self-unloading ships in the world.  


Headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, with operations throughout the Americas, Australia, Europe and Africa, CSL delivers millions of tons of cargo annually for customers in the construction, steel, energy and agrifood sectors. 



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