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Hapag-Lloyd launches biofuel trials

Hapag-Lloyd's container vessel "Montreal Express" recently refuelled in the port of Rotterdam with eco-friendly biofuel. The new so-called “B20” fuel consists of 80% low-sulphur fuel oil and 20% biodiesel based on cooking oils and fats that had previously been used in the food service/catering industry. The biodiesel generates up to 90% less CO2 emissions than conventional fuels.

Responding to a Container News request, a spokesperson of Hapag-Lloyd said that the German shipping company chose Port of Rotterdam, because it offers a good availability of the "B20" fuel.

Moreover, Hapag-Lloyd's representative said that preparation for the trial took 6 weeks and the fuel was taken on in Rotterdam over the weekend (1-2 February).

“By the end of this year, we want to have reduced our specific CO2 emissions by 50% compared to the reference year 2008. Biofuels like ‘B20’ can help us reach this target. This is because, in addition to having a low sulphur content, the fuel also emits less climate-damaging CO2 during combustion,” explains Jörg Erdmann, Senior Director Sustainability Management.

Hapag-Lloyd says it intends to use the test run with the “Montreal Express”, which operates in the St. Lawrence Coordinated Service 2 (AT 2) between Europe and Canada, to gain experience and information on the properties of the fuel in real-world use.

"We have planned further trials to gain experience. If these are successful, we could operate more ships from our fleet with biofuel in the future," Hapag-Lloyd said on Container News.

“We are checking to see whether the share of biodiesel has any adverse effects on the equipment and the fuel processing on board the vessel. If the test is successful, more ships from Hapag-Lloyd’s fleet could operate using the ‘B20’ fuel in future,” adds Jan Christensen, Senior Director Purchasing & Supply at Hapag-Lloyd.

Antonis Karamalegkos
Editor, Container News

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