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KPI OceanConnect, Uni-Tankers collaborate on successful trial of marine biofuel

The M/T Alsia Swan used a B30 biodiesel blend of marine biofuel during the recent trial. (Photo: KPI OceanConnect)

Tanker-shipping company Uni-Tankers and global marine energy solutions provider KPI OceanConnect announced Sept. 19 they have completed the successful supply and trial of a bespoke blend of B30 biofuel on Uni-Tankers’ M/T Alsia Swan.

The trials are an important step for understanding the emissions performance of marine biofuel and validating its potential to help cut carbon emissions.

The trial took place in Amsterdam on board Uni-Tankers’ 5,700 deadweight tonnage (DWT) chemical tanker M/T Alsia Swan.

KPI OceanConnect arranged for the supply of 34,000 liters (8,982 gallons) of bio-grade fuel containing a 30 percent blend of fatty acid methyl esters (FAME), also known as biodiesel.

The fuel supply was part of a two-day trial, which saw emissions for the biofuel measured and compared with emissions for low-sulfur marine gasoil (LSMGO) under the same conditions.

KPI OceanConnect’s local team of traders worked with their Uni-Tankers partners to identify a biofuel to meet their bespoke needs.

The team oversaw the blending process to ensure the fuel met precise specifications and was on hand for the delivery to ensure the specially blended product supplied for the M/T Alsia Swan trials was good quality.

Throughout the trial, tests were carried out at four different loads to assess the reliability and performance of the biofuel blend.

Alongside trials of the B30 biofuel, Uni-Tankers ran identical operations for an LSMGO fuel of equal quality, allowing accurate comparisons of the B30 biofuel performance.

Sampling and analysis for the trial was performed by a team from Force Technology.

In results from the trial, Uni-Tankers saw particulate matter (PM) emissions reduced by as much as 42 percent when fuel supply was switched from LSMGO fuel to B30.

Carbon monoxide (CO) emissions were also reduced by 18 percent.

By using a blend of 30 percent biofuel and 70 percent fossil marine gasoil, M/T Alsia Swan can cut lifecycle emissions of CO2 by an equivalent amount.

In a future of tightening greenhouse-gas (GHG) regulations, this will be an important interim step ship owners can take to maintain compliance and support decarbonization.

“We are very pleased to be partnering with the Uni-Tankers team on this project to deliver high-grade biofuel for their vessel in Amsterdam,” said Jesper Sørensen, global head of new fuels and carbon markets for KPI OceanConnect. “By sharing our knowledge and providing expert guidance on fuel strategies, including finding the right biofuel-blend ratio to meet the specific needs of vessel operators, we aim to build partnerships with our clients that support their long-term success through the energy transition in shipping. For KPI OceanConnect, our close partnership with Uni-Tankers is a model for delivering excellence to our clients.”

Lisa Clement Jensen, head of atrategy at Uni-Tankers, added, “The need to cut emissions is one of the most urgent matters in the shipping industry and we are very pleased to be working with KPI OceanConnect for the biofuel trials on the M/T Alsia Swan. Decarbonization is at the top of our strategic agenda, and we aim to contribute to a climate-resilient development of the shipping industry. These trials enable us to assess the potential and viability of biofuels as part of our ongoing decarbonization efforts.”

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