Dredger sails for 2,000 hours on 100% biofuel

Malcolm Latarche

Malcolm Latarche · 23 September 2020

ShipInsight


Jan De Nul Group recently announced that its trailing suction hopper dredger, Alexander von Humboldt, had completed 2,000 hours operation on 100% renewable, second-generation Biofuel Oil (BFO). The vessel is powered by two MAN 12V32/40 and one MAN 7L32/40 main engines.

The Luxembourg-based marine civils Group reported that this major milestone represents the longest continuous use of 100% sustainable marine biofuel in the maritime industry and states that the achievement further reinforces the successful adoption of this fuel solution, proving to the maritime world that BFO is ready for use as a sustainable drop-in fuel to meet industry emissions reduction targets.

Goodfuels

Michel Deruyck, Head of Energy Department at Jan De Nul Group, said, “With our choice of this sustainable marine biofuel, we want to prove to the governments and our clients that if they have climate ambitions and incorporate these in the selection procedures, the industry is ready for it. It is very important now that the right policies and regulations follow to leverage the full potential of BFO. Research into fuels of the future is useful, but it should not prevent us from using sustainable solutions already available today for the much-needed energy transition within the shipping industry."

Patrice Mauger, Head of Region Europe at MAN Energy Solutions, said, “While our engine technology will remain the prime mover for deep-sea shipping, we have to prepare for the emergence of new fuels, such as BFO, as a supplier to the industry. As such, staying abreast of such developments is paramount to our success. The passing of this notable milestone is testament to the flexibility of our engines and of great credit to Jan De Nul Group whose commitment to decarbonisation is exemplary.”

The Alexander von Humboldt is the first vessel in the world to record this biofuel milestone. The important technical benchmark of 2,000 sailing hours proves the technical applicability and capabilities of sustainable marine biofuel in operations. At the same time, it opens the door to cross-sectoral collaboration with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), class societies, flag states, and supply chains to accelerate the supply of these fuels into mainstream use.

Leading up to the 2,000-hour milestone, the Alexander von Humboldt was refuelled at various stages with BFO, which massively reduced the vessel’s CO2 emissions by 85%. The vessel consumed the biofuel while conducting maintenance dredging works in Flemish seaports and the United Kingdom. As a frontrunner, Jan De Nul Group has shown that the maritime construction industry can be part of a game-changing global movement that will help to achieve climate goals by using low-carbon solutions.

The Alexander von Humboldt has two propellers, with one driven by a single MAN 12V32/40 engine (MCR 5,250 kW at 750 rpm = standard rating). The second propeller is driven by one MAN 12V32/40 type (MCR 4,750 kW at 750 rpm) and one MAN 7L32/40 type (MCR 2,775 kW at 750 rpm) engine via a twin-in, single-out gearbox. Both engine ratings are reduced as these engines also drive dredge pumps via power take-offs (PTOs) at the engine free end.

The BFO was introduced by GoodFuels in 2018. It was the first marine second-generation, fossil-fuel-equivalent biofuel that is completely derived from sustainable waste feedstock in line with the latest European renewable-energy directive. GoodFuels introduced the BFO as a credible carbon-based solution to accelerate the energy transition.

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