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Petrobras tests B10 marine biofuel on Transpetro vessel

Photo: Transpetro

Petrobras carried out the first bio-bunkering in Brazil Dec. 31, according to the state-owned oil company.

At the Rio Grande Terminal (Terig) in Rio Grande do Sul, Transpetro’s Darcy Ribeiro vessel was fueled with 10 percent biodiesel. The purpose of the test is to evaluate the use of the marine biofuel for two months and any potential logistical challenges associated with its use.

Photo: Daniela Xu, Petrobras News Agency

The estimated percentage reduction of CO2-equivalent emissions from this mixture is around 7 percent.

In the first stage of the project, during lab tests carried out at the Petrobras Research and Development Center (Cenpes), no impacts were found in meeting the main properties of the bunker specification.

The assessment of the burning quality and stability of the mixture indicated the approval for field tests in an oceangoing vessel. It is expected that the operation of the ship will confirm the laboratory results and will be uneventful in the performance of the engines, filters and fuel-purification systems.

The International Maritime Organization has the goal of reducing greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions in the industry by at least 50 percent by 2050, compared to 2008 levels. Among the main measures that can be adopted is the use of marine biofuels, which is one of the solutions being developed by Petrobras.

As of January, the IMO 2023 initiative will come into force, aiming at fostering the improvement of ship efficiency and the adoption of low-carbon fuels.

“With the IMO 2023 seal, vessels will be certified and ranked according to the level of energy efficiency and Transpetro has been investing in several solutions in recent years, with a focus on taking our fleet to the best levels of efficiency,” said Jair Toledo, the sea and land engineering and technology director at Transpetro. “In order to achieve that, we invested in several improvements. We have installed propeller and hull appendages on our fleet vessels, as well as conducted operational-optimization actions, among others, which allowed for a 7 percent reduction in emissions in 2022 when compared to 2021, which is an important proof of the advances made in our journey towards the evolution of energy efficiency.”

In the maritime sector, depending on the percentage of biodiesel mixed with the fuel, little or no adaptation is required on the vessels, which makes adopting this new product easier.

With the field test, Petrobras will take another step towards contributing to selling fuels with less impact on the environment.

Petrobras is set to invest USD$4.4 billion in projects focused on energy transition, aimed at low-carbon initiatives, under the new Strategic Plan from 2023 to 2027.

“We are working on a new generation of more efficient products and fuels, with lower greenhouse-gas emissions, in line with the demands of our society,” said Sandro Barreto, executive manager of commercialization in the internal market. “The development of the bunker fuel with renewable content is an example of our commitment to the transition to a low-carbon future.”



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