ExxonMobil completes successful trial of its first marine bio fuel oil

Marine fuel and lubes supplier ExxonMobil along with ship operator Stena Bulk has completed a successful sea trial of the company’s first marine bio fuel oil. The fuel is a 0.50% sulphur residual-based fuel (VLSFO) processed with a second generation waste-based FAME component (ISCC certified) – and will be available later this year – initially in Rotterdam – before wider launch across the ExxonMobil port network.

The trial demonstrated that the marine bio fuel oil, which can provide a CO2 emission reduction of up to 40%* compared with conventional marine fuel can be used without modification and can help operators take a significant step towards meeting carbon emissions reduction targets. This also supports the IMO’s ambition to reduce total annual GHG emissions from international shipping by 2050.

The Marine industry recognises the greenhouse gas reduction benefits of bio fuel oil, and the fuel meets requirements for global sulphur cap compliance and has undergone critical and extensive testing. The sea trial undertaken with tanker operator Stena Bulk was designed and completed as part of ExxonMobil’s assessment and trial protocol to demonstrate that there were no adverse equipment effects when operating with higher levels of bio components.

“With new marine fuels coming to market recently, the need for quality fuels that are both reliable and ISO compliant has never been greater,” said Cowan Lee, Marine Fuels Marketing Manager at ExxonMobil. “ExxonMobil’s new marine bio fuel oil meets that growing need as it has been extensively tested, is sulphur compliant and can make a significant contribution in helping operators reduce their CO2 emissions. As operators face increasingly stringent regulations and significant pressure from customers to demonstrate their commitment to reducing GHG emissions, this is an important next step in providing the lower-emissions fuels that operators want and need,” Lee added.

The Stena Bulk sea trial was carried out while the vessel was in commercial operation. The trial included evaluation of on-board storage, handling, and treatment and the fuel was consumed in engines and other machinery on-board.

“We believe biofuels have an important role to play in accelerating the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in shipping”, said Erik Hånell, President and CEO Stena Bulk. “The development of ExxonMobil’s biofuel is an important step towards a broader commercial use of low-carbon fuels, and we were happy to be part of the sea trial, which proved to be very successful. The fuel performed very well and fitted seamlessly into our technical and commercial operation without the need for engine modifications or additional procedures, while contributing to a significant reduction of CO2 emissions.”

John Larese, Marine Fuels Technical Advisor at ExxonMobil added, “As a residual fuel, it can be dropped-in without the need for expensive modification and can help provide ship operators immediate CO2 savings compared to full hydrocarbon fuel. This successful trial also involved close collaboration with the OEMs, the vessel’s classification society and flag state”.

*Benefit compared to conventional petroleum-based VLSFO, calculated on an energy basis. Well-to-wake CO2 emissions reduction calculated using Directive 2009/30/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council Annex IV C. 1 and MEPC 66/21 Annex 5

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