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Wärtsilä, Carnival and GoodFuels partner to test 100% marine biofuel

Photo: Wärtsilä

The technology group Wärtsilä partnered with Carnival Corp.’s Holland America Line and Netherlands based GoodFuels, a market leader in sustainable biofuels, to carry out ship trials operating with biofuel blends.

In addition to a 70 percent diesel/30 percent biofuel blend, the tests were conducted with 100 percent biofuel to determine the effect on overall engine performance, as well as on engine emissions.

The testing was carried out on a Wärtsilä ZA40 engine installed onboard the Holland America Line vessel Volendam.

While there have been earlier trials with lower blends of biofuel, this is the first testing by Wärtsilä on a cruise ship operating with 100 percent biofuel.

“We were excited to have this opportunity to test a next-generation fuel resource on a Holland America Line ship, and we are encouraged by the results,” said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line. “As part of our commitment to sustainability, we have always looked for cutting-edge solutions to environmental challenges that will help us meet Carnival Corp.’s sustainability goals over the coming decades.”

Ricardo Opperman, director strategic account management and managing director of Wärtsilä North America Inc., added, “Our extensive work in testing alternative marine fuels is a central part of our efforts to shape viable decarbonization options for our customers. We are continuously developing our engine technology to accept and retain operational and environmental efficiency levels with various future fuels, including biofuels. These sea trials with 100 percent biofuel will be especially important—for GoodFuels, for Wärtsilä, and for the industry as a whole.”

Wärtsilä’s scope includes preparation of the testing protocols, evaluation of the fuel testing and lube-oil testing results, supervision of the tests, and post-testing analyses, including engine inspections, performance evaluation, and measurements of nitrogen-oxide (NOx) emissions.

The biofuel tests support the overall environmental mission, goals and aspirations of Carnival Corp. Those include achieving a 40 percent reduction in carbon per available-lower-berth-day by 2030; expanding its alternative fuels strategy across its liquefied natural gas (LNG) program and battery, fuel cell and biofuel capabilities; delivering a 50 percent reduction in absolute air emissions of particulate matter by 2030; and the aspiration to achieve net carbon-neutral operations by 2050.

In addition to cutting carbon emissions by 80 to 90 percent, the sustainable biofuels that GoodFuels supplied for this trial allow for sustainable scaling of biofuel uptake. The fuels used are derived from feedstocks that are certified as 100 percent waste or residue, with no land-use issues and no competition with food production or deforestation.

Close cooperation between the project partners has eased the time needed for planning and preparing for these tests. Wärtsilä has a long-term partnership (based on engine reliability and engine performance) with the Carnival as several operating lines have Wärtsilä solutions installed.

Wärtsilä’s extensive biofuel experience goes back to the first-ever marine biofuel bunkering in 2015, together with GoodFuels and Boskalis.

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