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First biofuel trial of an ocean-going vessel in Singapore 

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First biofuel trial of an ocean-going vessel in Singapore. Image: Oldendorff
First biofuel trial of an ocean-going vessel in Singapore. Image: Oldendorff
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Oldendorff Carriers, together with global resources company BHP, advanced biofuels pioneer GoodFuels (GF) and with the support of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), has successfully conducted the first marine biofuel trial involving an ocean-going vessel bunkered in Singapore.

The vessel selected for the biofuel trial was one of the company’s eco-Kamsarmaxes, Kira Oldendorff. The 2020-built 81,290 tdw dry bulk carrier was bunkered with “drop-in” advanced biofuel to be blended with conventional fossil fuels. Minor modifications were carried out to burn the biofuel blend efficiently, and monitoring instruments were installed to capture the trial data as accurately as possible.

In line with our decarbonisation strategy, the company is committed to work with partners, authorities and stakeholders to find the best ways to reduce GHG emissions in our shipping operations. The key objectives of the biofuel bunkering trial include safety, understanding the behaviour of the fuel (such as emissions), assessing engine and vessel operational performance, as well as exploring the merits and challenges of biofuels as a marine fuel.

Oldendorff Carriers Singapore’s Managing Director, Alexander Vajsova-Jones stressed the importance of collaborating with the right partners: “Oldendorff Carriers and BHP’s views on a greener future are mutually aligned and being historically close partners, it made this trial a natural fit. GF are leaders in biofuels and early movers in this segment and felt they were an excellent choice, while MPA are strong supporters of green initiatives and are always instrumental in supporting industry participants in the ‘shipping capital of the world’.”

“We are thrilled to have been selected to participate in this biofuel trial with our close partners, and pleased that the bunkering happened in Singapore. It’s a small but necessary step in our common goal to reduce our carbon footprint,” Alexander Vajsova-Jones added.

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Environment

DNV launches new digital EEXI Calculator

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DNV launches new digital EEXI Calculator. Image: DNV
DNV launches new digital EEXI Calculator. Image: DNV
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DNV has launched the EEXI Calculator – a digital tool to support customers in ensuring their compliance with the upcoming Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI). The regulation is expected to be adopted at this week’s 76th meeting of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 76). If so, the regulation will take effect in January 2023..

The EEXI regulation is a medium-term component of the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) roadmap towards reducing global shipping’s carbon intensity by 40 percent over the next decade, using 2008 as a baseline. The aim of the EEXI is to assess the energy efficiency of existing ships, focusing solely on their design. It determines the standardized CO2 emissions related to a vessel’s installed engine power, transport capacity, speed, and degree of energy efficiency. The regulation will be applicable for all cargo, ro-pax and cruise vessels above 400 GT, depending on their propulsion type and whether they trade internationally. DNV estimates that currently, up to 30,000 vessels need to take action to comply with the upcoming EEXI regulation.

“The EEXI is putting a great deal of pressure on ship owners to take immediate action in order to analyse the energy efficiency of their fleet and make any necessary adjustments to ensure compliance,“ said Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen, CEO of DNV Maritime. “At DNV, we understand the difficulties the industry faces in meeting this regulatory deadline. This is why we have tailored our new EEXI Calculator to meet this need.”

To help customers ensure they are prepared for EEXI compliance, DNV has developed two pathways.

The EEXI Calculator is purpose made for high volume ship segments such as tankers, bulkers and containers. Customers can access this newly launched tool via the Veracity portal under ‘Fleet Status’. The calculator can produce an EEXI calculation and the technical file based on the data uploaded by the customer.

For more complex cases, and when the customer wants to save time and effort, DNV’s advisory experts can work with customers to map out a pathway to compliance, identify the correct parameters for the calculation, and assist in preparing the required documentation.  “These two pathways are designed to help everyone tackle their EEXI challenges in time to reach compliance,” said Fabian Kock, Head of Section Environmental Certification, DNV Maritime. “For companies with a younger fleet, this may not require major adjustments, they can easily access and prepare the required documentation through our EEXI calculator. And for those who need more support, there is the opportunity to tap into DNV’s extensive expertise as they prepare to make more involved decisions around how their vessels can meet the regulatory requirements and secure EEXI compliance when the regulation comes into force.”

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The Port of Valencia reduces its carbon footprint by 30%

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The Port of Valencia reduces its carbon footprint by 30%. Image: Port Authority of Valencia
The Port of Valencia reduces its carbon footprint by 30%. Image: Port Authority of Valencia
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The Port of Valencia carbon footprint has been reduced by 30%, from 3.19 to 2.23 kg of CO2 per tonne handled from 2008 to 2019. In the same period, the activity of Port of Valencia grew by 42%, from 52 million tonnes handled in 2008 to 74 million tonnes at the close of the 2019 financial year.

These figures position Valenciaport as an international benchmark in port developments and strategies for decarbonisation by showing with facts and figures that the growth of economic activity is not incompatible with the reduction of CO2. Eco-efficiency in Port of Valencia is a reality, while at the same time reflecting highly positive results of the Port of Valencia community’s commitment to sustainable growth.

The fight against climate change and the reduction of CO2 emissions and other polluting particles is an essential priority for the Port Authority of Valencia (PAV). In this context, the work is being done to make the reduction of the impact of port activities on the environment compatible with the growth of commercial activity. And this commitment is materialized with specific projects to achieve the Port of Valencia 2030 objective, zero emissions, two decades ahead of the objectives that Spain, Europe and international organizations have projected for 2050.

The carbon footprint is an environmental indicator that aims to reflect the total greenhouse gases (GHG) emitted by direct or indirect effect of an individual or institution. In the case of the PAV, the carbon footprint is measured considering all the activity that takes place at the Port of Valencia. Consequently, Port of Valencia positions itself in the front line against climate change and emerging through the implementation of sustainability actions, with a committed plan for the benefit of society, the economy and future generations.

PAV strategy towards zero emissions

The PAV’s Strategy towards zero emissions in 2030 is based on a clear commitment to align with the European Green Deal, highlighting the need to reduce GHG emissions. Therefore, the main objectives of this Strategy are: to promote decarbonisation, incorporate the circular economy and promote digital transformation in the ports it manages.

To achieve these objectives, the following will be promoted:

  • Employment, knowledge and research, boosting the growing demand for employment in the logistics and distribution sector and configuring the project as an engine for attracting talent, knowledge, research and innovation.
  • Territorial cohesion through projects that will promote the integration of the port with transport networks, including the rail network.
  • Attention to people and social inclusion, through actions aimed at increasing industrial and occupational safety and security within the port.
  • Regional governance and efficient administration, allowing the sharing of information in real time with all the administrations involved in port activities.

In this line, it is worth highlighting projects such as the one already under way in Valenciaport, such as the construction of the electrical substation of the Port of Valencia, which will allow the connection to the electrical network of the ships berthed in the port, with the consequent reduction of CO2 emissions. Other examples include: feasibility studies for the installation of a wind farm; the construction and improvement of railway connections; the implementation of photovoltaic solar energy; the replacement of the PAV’s fleet of vehicles with hybrid and electric vehicles; and the replacement of lighting in the port areas, among other initiatives.

Also, and within the framework of this Strategy, it is worth highlighting public-private collaboration initiatives such as the one developed together with Baleària for the use of cleaner fuels such as LNG or the H2PORTS project through which three hydrogen pilots are being developed: a supply station in the Port of Valencia, a tractor unit for ro-ro operations and a Reach Stacker machine like those that operate in the terminals.

On the other hand, reference should be made to projects such as GREEN C PORTS, whose aim is to reduce the environmental impact of port operations in cities and to control emissions in the main European ports. In fact, within the framework of this initiative, the APV has installed two new environmental control booths that will analyze air quality, noise in port facilities and weather conditions in real time. Progress is also being made with the LOOP-Ports project, which promotes the circular economy as a future commitment to the sustainability of ports.

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Environment

World’s first hydrogen cargo vessel set for Paris debut

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World’s first hydrogen cargo vessel set for Paris debut. Image: FCHJU
World’s first hydrogen cargo vessel set for Paris debut. Image: FCHJU
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The European innovation project Flagships will deploy the world’s first commercial cargo transport vessel operating on hydrogen, plying the river Seine in Paris. Commercial operations are set to commence in 2021.

The hydrogen cargo transport vessel will be owned by French inland shipowner Compagnie Fluvial de Transport (CFT), a subsidiary of the Sogestran Group. The company is currently developing a new business for urban distribution with transport vessels in the Paris area.

“The demand for more sustainable technologies in inland waterway transport is on the rise. As part of the Flagships project, we are happy to be leading the way on reducing emissions from transport and demonstrating the superior features of hydrogen fuel cells in waterborne applications,” says Matthieu Blanc, director of CFT.

“Green and sustainable shipping is a prerequisite for reaching national and international emission reduction targets. Ships powered by renewable hydrogen will make a substantial contribution to reducing emissions from shipping and improving air quality in cities and other densely populated areas,” says Flagships Project Coordinator Jyrki Mikkola from VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.

Hydrogen gaining ground

Both the EU and the shipping industry see hydrogen as a key contributor in the efforts to mitigate climate change. The Flagships project was awarded EUR 5 million of funding in 2018 from the EU’s Research and Innovation programme Horizon 2020, under the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU), to deploy two hydrogen vessels in France and Norway. The project’s initial plan was to deploy a hydrogen push-boat in the Lyon area, but as the broader potential for hydrogen in cargo transport emerged, the demo pusher was changed to an inland cargo vessel. The new vessel will be tasked with moving goods on pallets and in containers along the river Seine.

The shift in focus is based on Sogestran Group’s experience gained in Belgium, where Blue Line Logistics (BLL), another subsidiary of the Sogestran Group, operates three cargo vessels sailing under the concept name “Zulu”. One Zulu vessel has also been put into operation in Paris, and an additional two Zulu ships are currently under construction for the same market. The Flagships project will install a hydrogen power generation system on one of the newbuilds, scheduled for delivery in September 2021. Blue Line Logistics plans to have the ship operating on hydrogen before the end of 2021.

“As we move through the energy transition, hydrogen technologies are gaining traction in the maritime sector. Flagships is a very exciting project for us, since it is leading the way to demonstrate how vessels operating on green hydrogen can decarbonise urban rivers. By translating technological innovations into commercial operations we can make zero-emissions inland vessels a reality in every European city!,” says Bart Biebuyck, Executive Director at FCH JU.

Pieces in the zero-emission puzzle

The vessel will operate on compressed hydrogen produced from electrolysis, enabling not only zero-emission operations, but also creating a solid base for more local zero-emission transport, both at sea and on land. The power generation system for Zulu will be supplied by ABB Marine & Ports, with fuel cells from Ballard. LMG Marin is responsible for detail design drawings, with hydrogen provided by suppliers in the Paris region.

The Flagships consortium includes 11 European partners, with two shipowners, Norled (NO) and CFT (FR) assisted by its support company Sogestion (FR) and Sogestran (FR); the maritime OEM and integrator companies ABB Marine & Ports (FI) and Westcon Power & Automation (NO); and ship design company LMG Marin (NO & FR). World-leading fuel cell technology is provided by Ballard Europe (DK), with vessel energy monitoring and management by Pers-EE (FR). Management and dissemination activities are provided by VTT (FI) and NCE Maritime CleanTech (NO), respectively.

The Flagships project has received funding from the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 2 Joint Undertaking under Grant Agreement No 826215. This Joint Undertaking receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation program, Hydrogen Europe and Hydrogen Europe Research.

About the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking

The Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) is a Public Private Partnership in which the European industry, research, academia (represented by Hydrogen Europe and Hydrogen Europe Research) and the EU (represented by the European Commission) work together to accelerate the deployment of fuel cell and hydrogen technologies. The FCH JU supports a wide range of projects, which help to put the EU at the forefront of research and innovation, bring the benefits of the technology to the citizens and enhance industry competitiveness.

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