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Maersk container vessel completes testing of Solazyme renewable diesel

23 January 2012

Maersk Line, one of the biggest shipping companies in the world, has completed the testing of Solazyme’s 100% algal derived renewable diesel as part of an integrated testing and certification program with the US Navy. The test, which substituted Solazyme’s renewable fuel for diesel, took place aboard the 300-meter Maersk Kalmar container vessel over a one-month, 6,500 nautical mile voyage from Northern Europe to India, burning about 30 tons of Solazyme’s renewable advanced biofuel, SoladieselRD. (Earlier post.)

This test, performed in collaboration with the US Navy’s Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), represents the first use of Solazyme’s fuel aboard a Maersk Line vessel. Maersk’s Kalmar had a dedicated auxiliary test engine, and engineers and crew onboard the vessel, testing fuel blends ranging from 7% to 100% in the auxiliary engine throughout the voyage.

The results of this collaboration will better inform the Navy's test plan as we prepare to demonstrate a Green Strike Group of ships this summer operating with a 50/50 renewable fuel blend. The results of this test build on the Navy’s ongoing efforts to test the use of biofuels in our ships, boats and craft.

—Glen Sturtevant, director for Science and Technology at the Navy's Program Executive Office, Ships

Norfolk, Virginia-based Maersk Line, Limited which has worked with the US Navy for nearly 30 years, led the test. The Navy also plans to test more ships on algal fuel this year as part of its green fleet initiative, pledging to meet 50% of its energy requirements with alternative sources by 2020.

Solazyme has successfully completed the delivery of more than 360,000 liters of the in-specification fuel to the US Navy, the largest delivery of microbially-derived advanced biofuels to date. Solazyme’s renewable diesel and jet fuels meet all of the EU, ASTM and Military specifications for fuel.

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