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Tata Steel performs full-laden leg on B24 marine biofuel for raw-material shipment from Australia to India

Photo: Tata Steel

Tata Steel announced May 9 that it has become the first Indian steel company to undertake a full-laden leg voyage from the East Coast of Australia to India powered by a B24 biofuel blend with very-low sulfur fuel oil (VLSFO).


This voyage sets a new benchmark for sustainable shipping practices in India, according to Tata Steel, and marks a new milestone in the country’s maritime sector.


On April 17, the cape vessel MV Cape XL departed from Gladstone port after loading coal.


It successfully berthed at Kalinga International Coal Terminal Paradip Private Ltd. port May 8, to discharge 148,500 tons of coal.


During its laden leg from Gladstone to Paradip, MV Cape XL used B24-grade marine biofuel, which was loaded from its ballast port in Guangzhou, China.


The carbon emissions for this laden leg voyage were approximately 565 tons less, which is approximately 20 percent less than a traditional cape vessel using VLSFO, aligning with the company’s ambitious scope 3 reduction targets.


“Through the use of biofuel in its maritime operations, Tata Steel not only reiterates its commitment to reducing carbon emissions but also sets a new standard for sustainability in the industry,” said Peeyush Gupta, an executive with Tata Steel. “By choosing a biofuel blend for our voyage from Australia to India, we were able to cut carbon emissions by approximately 20 percent, contributing significantly to our scope 3 reduction targets. We endeavor to undertake more such shipments for imports through alternate fuel-powered vessels and continue to align ourselves with global efforts towards climate change.”


Despite facing challenges in fuel availability, Tata Steel successfully executed this historic shipment in collaboration with its partners Cargill and Banle Energy International Ltd.


The B24 blend, the current benchmark grade for marine biofuel, combines 24 percent used cooking oil methyl ester (UCOME) with 76 percent VLSFO.


Earlier, in December 2021, Tata Steel deployed the first biofuel-powered vessel MV Frontier Sky, which was also the first by any Indian steel manufacturer.


The company continued its drive toward decarbonization with seven biofuel shipments in fiscal-year 2023 and 22 biofuel shipments in fiscal-year 2024, in addition to becoming the first Indian company to import cargo on bulk carriers using liquefied natural gas as fuel instead of traditional VLSFO.


Tata Steel noted that it is also the first steel producer in the world to join the Sea Cargo Charter to align its chartering activities with responsible environmental behavior, consistent with the policies and ambitions of the International Maritime Organization.


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