Japan’s 1st sea trial of large ferry fueled with renewable diesel completed
Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. (MOL), Euglena Co. Ltd., and MOL Ferry Co. Ltd. announced March 29 the completion of a sea trial of the MOL Ferry-owned and operated Sunflower Shiretoko using renewable diesel fuel marketed by Euglena. The sea trial took place in the Port of Oarai in Ibaraki Prefecture.
The renewable diesel fuel used for the sea trial is made from biomass and can be used without changing the specifications of conventional diesel-powered marine engines. It complies with SOx regulations because, unlike the heavy fuel oil in general use today, it contains no sulfur—a major component of air pollution from internal combustion engines. In addition, this biofuel emits CO2 at the combustion stage, but the biomass feedstock absorbs CO2 by photosynthesis in the growth process, so it is expected to achieve a carbon-neutral state—essentially net-zero CO2 emissions when it is used.
“I’m happy that such an advanced project is being conducted in our town,” said Yutaka Kunii, mayor of Oarai, at a ceremony for the sea trial. “We would like to firmly set our vision for the future and move ahead together.”
The MOL Group has set a target of achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions in its environmental vision, which laid out the group’s approach to global environmental issues. Among its initiatives, the group supports Euglena’s Green Oil Japan declaration, which aims to promote Japan’s nationwide shift toward biofuel, and this sea trial was a key element of that.