Maritime biofuel-pilot a great success

21 June 2019

The Mette Maersk container vessel, sailing on the 20% blend of biofuel, has returned safely to Rotterdam after a three- month roundtrip from Rotterdam to Shanghai. It sailed for a major part on a fuel blend with second generation biofuel during this trip.

Convinced of the urgency to act against climate change, a group of Dutch Multinationals amongst which FrieslandCampina and its Dutch Sustainable Growth Coalition (DSGC) partners Heineken, Philips, DSM, Shell and Unilever – joined forces with AP Møller – Maersk to run a biofuel pilot in March 2019. The container vessel Mette Maersk, one of the largest vessel containers in the world, sailed on a blend with 20% biofuel from used cooking oil. This was the first time for such a high blend percentage on an ocean container vessel on this scale.

Next to sailing on the 20% blend, the Mette Maersk also sailed on a 7% blend, which in total leads for this round-trip to a reduction of the CO2 emissions with 1500 tons and of sulphur emissions with 20 tons. This is equivalent to yearly emissions of over 200 households or the equivalent of 12 million car kilometres (300 times around the world). Shell supplied the new fuel blend, for which it did extensive testing in its laboratories.

Maersk will continue to test and validate the use of biofuels for marine application, while progressing the development for other low-carbon solutions. Shell will continue to research and develop second generation biofuels based on various waste streams. The members of the DSGC who distribute their products globally via ocean shipping, will investigate how they can further stimulate these developments. In addition, they will generate attention for the urgency and the opportunities in relevant international networks and platforms, such as the Clean Cargo Working Group and the BICEPS Network.

Walter Vermeer responsible at FrieslandCampina for Logistics Procurement, is pleased with the result of the pilot: ”FrieslandCampina is the 2nd biggest exporter of containers from the Netherlands. Ocean transport covers worldwide for 3% of all CO2 emissions. With this pilot FrieslandCampina aims to show its leading role in making this type of transport more sustainable. Joining forces with other shippers and partners in the transport chain is key. This pilot demonstrates us that bio fuel can become one of the sustainable solutions, that are technically and economically feasible. FrieslandCampina is committed to lead with sustainability also in ocean shipping.

Next to this pilot with the DSGC, FrieslandCampina is also co-founder of the BICEPS Network, to stimulate sustainable ocean shipping by including sustainability in the procurement process and boosting market-ready innovations.

Hein Schumacher, CEO FrieslandCampina, is also pleased with the results of the pilot: “FrieslandCampina wants to lead with sustainability and as a large exporter that also makes ocean shipping part of our responsibility scope. Partnering with our fellow DSGC members and Maersk in this initiative means we work together on an actual innovative pilot that potentially reduces our carbon footprint.”