BMW joins UECC to continue tests of marine biofuel

Malcolm Latarche

Malcolm Latarche · 10 June 2020

ShipInsight


After having announced their three month biofuel trial, leading short sea shipowner UECC and the GoodShipping Program have now partnered by car manufacturer BMW Group to continue to test marine Bio Fuel-Oil (BFO) on UECC’s car carrying vessels. BMW Group joins UECC and the GoodShipping Program in the previously announced trial, where BFO is being tested on UECC’s 140m, 2,080-vehicle carrier Autosky.

By covering the fuel premium for a biofuel volume corresponding to BMW Group’s freight that will be shipped on the Autosky during the trial period, BMW Group will be able to claim a CO2 emission reduction of 80 to 90% for these shipments, totalling more than 400 tonnes of carbon.

Bmw

This is a significant and important step towards achieving a carbon-neutral supply chain for BMW, and is the core aim of the GoodShipping Program, which enables cargo owners to reduce their environmental footprint.

BMW Group’s participation in the project marks yet another significant step in the advancement of marine biofuel and climate friendly vehicle transportation and contributes to enabling the continuation of biofuel deliveries to UECC after the trial period.

The first volume of biofuel was delivered to Autosky on March 16, 2020 in the Port of Rotterdam. The trial has and will see subsequent further refuelling operations between March and July 2020. Autosky is currently testing BFO on the route between Zeebrugge, Belgium and Santander, Spain.

The BFO – based on cooking oil – being used for this trial was supplied by the leading biofuel company GoodFuels. The marine biofuel ‘drops in’ to normal fuel tanks, is virtually sulphur free and delivers 80 to 90% well-to-exhaust CO2 reduction versus fossil equivalents. The joint trial proves that the means to reduce the carbon footprint of transporting goods and vehicles around the world already exist on the market and that second-generation advanced biofuels can be scaled to meet this demand.

Sea transportation and logistics play an important role for the BMW Group, which has production sites and vehicle distribution processes worldwide. When considering the carbon impact across the entire value chain of a car, the participation in this three month trial is a meaningful and immediate means to reduce the CO2 footprint of BMW Group’s transport logistics processes.

Daniel Gent, Energy and Sustainability Manager, UECC, said, “At UECC, we want to support our customers and enable them to make proactive, conscious choices about their cargo transportation. BMW Group’s participation to continue our trial on our ro-ro vessel Autosky should therefore signal to the automotive sector that the means to decarbonise are readily available and that our vessels are equipped to meet this most important of challenges for the shipping industry.”

Anniek Sluis, Growth Captain, The GoodShipping Program, added, “We are delighted to have BMW Group join us for continuing this pioneering trial of marine biofuel within the ro-ro segment. Transportation logistics have a huge carbon impact, so the leadership shown by BMW Group to proactively take steps to decarbonise – and recognise that solutions are available – should act as a call for others in the sector to join us on this journey.”

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