Article published in Valor Econômico, Tuesday 21st December 2022 Written by: André Ramalho
Freely translated into english by PR department in Bunker One. Brazil
Bunker One is a Danish multinational company that operates in the supply of marine fuels. They intend to start testing Biodiesel in parts of their fleet in January. The idea is to add 7% biodiesel into the marine diesel and use it for trial on two of the tugboats they operate in Rio de Janeiro.
The company entered a partnership with the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN) to validate the blending ratio of the Biodiesel and marine fuel oil. The tests should last eight months and will require an estimated investment of R$ 250,000 to R$ 300,000.
The Managing Director of Bunker One Brazil, Flavio Ribeiro, says that the trial fits into the context of the global race for cleaner fuels that the shipping industry has become a part of. The International Maritime Organization expects to reduce carbon emission by 50% by 2050 in comparison to the 2008 numbers.
Bunker One wants to position itself as a global supplier of biodiesel mixture in the long term. Ribeiro says that the objective of the tests, at this moment, is, above all, to contribute to the international approval of biofuel and for Brazil to consolidate, in the future, as an exporter of the product.
He explains that the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) already recognizes that a mixture containing 7% biodiesel is viable, and there will not be a loss of quality or specification. However, biofuel use on a commercial scale still depends on adjustments to the IMO standard that imposes limits on nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions. The matter is expected to be discussed in 2022.
He says that a B7 blend of marine fuel oil represents a potential global demand of 14 million tons/year – and if it is blended with marine diesel, the potential is 3.7 million tons per year.
Ribeiro emphasizes that introducing Biodiesel in the shipping industry opens a new market for Brazilian companies, mainly when biodiesel producers operate with idle capacity. As a result, the government reduced the percentage of biodiesel blend in diesel, in the road transportation sector, to 10% in 2022 - the current mandate is 13%.
As Ribeiro sees it, with the national feedstock, there is potential for a lot of growth within Biodiesel production, but it seems entirely forgotten and not on the agenda.
Questioned whether the high prices of Brazilian Biodiesel could compromise the biofuel's economic viability in the shipping industry, Ribeiro stated that calculations and correct tests will be made when testing. According to him, however, the trend is that as the idle capacity of the plants is reduced, the price of the Biodiesel will also fall.
"If the biodiesel production infrastructure is idle, the cost (of this idleness) is loaded in the final price. If we optimize this gain in scale (of the use of Biodiesel in maritime transport), we are able to optimize these costs."
The global shipping industry is in a race for decarbonization solutions. The use of Liquefied natural gas Liquefied (LNG) and ship electrification are some of the alternatives on the table. Ribeiro believes that Biodiesel is different, because there is no need to change the biodiesel equipment (Drop-in)
In January 2022, Bunker One Brazil will start testing bio diesel. The idea is to add 7% bio diesel into the marine diesel and use it for trial on two of the tugboats we operate in Rio de Janeiro.
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