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Global mining company Vale performs 1st voyage on marine biofuel for its iron-ore shipping

The vessel Hinrich Oldendorff was fueled by a B24 blend of marine biofuel for shipping iron ore. (Photo: Vale)

The global mining company Vale, working in partnership with Oldendorff Carriers, announced Nov. 30 that it has just begun its first biofuel voyage on a bulk vessel.

The trial is taking place on an Oldendorff vessel performing a laden Vale voyage from Brazil to Asia, carrying a full cargo of iron ore.

The Hinrich Oldendorff loaded the biofuel in Singapore Oct. 16 on the ballast voyage to Brazil.

The vessel then loaded Vale’s iron ore Nov. 29 at Guaiba Island Terminal and will consume the blended biofuel on the laden leg from Brazil to Asia.

The B24 biofuel on board is a blend of 24 percent biodiesel (286 metric tons), produced with used cooking oil, and fuel oil.

The product supplied is both European Union Renewable Energy Directive-compliant and certified by International Sustainability and Carbon Certification System.

The expected well-to-wake CO2 equivalent savings is around 18 percent, or 785 metric tons of CO2 equivalent, and will contribute to Vale’s scope 3 emission reduction.

Using biofuel on the laden voyage is part of the Ecoshipping program, an R&D initiative developed by Vale shipping area to reduce the shipping greenhouse-gas emissions in line with the ambitions set by the International Maritime Organization.

The program is testing and developing solutions for the use of alternative fuels for shipping, in addition to piloting new energy-efficiency technologies.

“We are happy to have great shipping partners committed to support our initiatives and make it happen,” said Michelle Gonzalez, the general manager of chartering, long-term contracts and operations at Vale. “Genuine collaborations and partnerships will be the key to success.”

Oldendorff Carriers has previously performed biofuel trials on smaller vessels and for shorter voyages, but this will be Oldendorff's first full voyage consuming biofuel on a Newcastlemax—the largest vessel that can enter the Port of Newcastle in Australia.

“We are delighted that Vale has chosen Oldendorff Carriers for their first biofuel voyage,” said Patrick Hutchins, CEO of Oldendorff Carriers. “We look forward to investigating further opportunities together with Vale to advance the shipping and mining industries progress in achieving sustainability goals.”



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