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GoodFuels Marine and Boskalis successfully test UPM’s sustainable wood-based biofuel for marine fleet

Boskalis, a leading global dredging and marine expert, and GoodFuels Marine, a leading provider of sustainable marine biofuels to the global commercial shipping fleet, have successfully performed live tests on a sustainable wood-based drop-in biofuel called UPM BioVerno. (Earlier post.) The tests were conducted on a vessel working on the Dutch Marker Wadden nature restoration project in the middle of the Markermeer lake.

UPM BioVerno is produced from wood-based tall oil. Crude tall is a natural extract of wood, mainly from conifers. The renewable raw material comes from sustainably managed forests. Crude tall oil is gained as a result of the separation process of fibrous material from wood; it is a residue of pulp manufacturing. The production process was developed in the UPM Biorefinery Research and Development Center in Lappeenranta, Finland.

The fuel supplied by Finland-based UPM Biofuels is the first biofuel derived from wood residue used in a marine fleet.

Boskalis vessel EDAX, a 1696 deadweight tonne (DWT) cutter suction dredger, has successfully used the fuel in bio/fossil blends going up to 50% as it worked on the first phase of the Marker Wadden project in the first half of 2016. This resulted in a CO2 saving of 600Mt over the operating period.

The €33-million project includes the construction of an island with underwater landscaping to restore the Markermeer’s delicate ecosystem.

The testing of this fuel marks yet another milestone for the marine biofuels consortium that was announced in October last year by GoodFuels Marine, Boskalis and Wärtsilä, the global supplier of engines and power systems to the marine industry.

The consortium was launched with the mission to spearhead a two-year pilot programme to accelerate the development of truly sustainable, scalable and affordable marine biofuels. All fuels being live-tested on board of Boskalis vessels—including UPM BioVerno—were first extensively ground tested at the Wärtsilä lab in Vaasa, Finland.

Sustainable marine biofuels offer ship operators a way to reduce a vessel’s CO2 emissions by 80-90%. They eliminate SOx emissions, cut NOx emissions by 10% and reduce particulate matter (PM) expelled in a ship’s exhaust plume by 50%. Current forecasts predict that marine biofuels could make up 5 - 10% of the marine fuel mix by 2030, significantly contributing towards the reduction of the shipping industry’s carbon footprint.


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