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Incorporating Clean Shipping International

MAERSK, WALLENIUS, UNIVERSITY AND CUSTOMERS UNITE FOR FUTURE FUEL

Tuesday, October 29, 2019 

AP Moller-Maersk and Wallenius Wilhelmsen have teamed up with Copenhagen University and major customers including BMW Group, H&M Group, Levi Strauss & Co. and Marks & Spencer to form the LEO Coalition, which will explore the environmental and commercial viability of LEO fuel - a blend of lignin and ethanol - that could be part of the future solution for sustainable shipping.

Maersk believes that the marine sector has very different fuel requirements from automotive or aviation. “Shipping requires bespoke low-carbon fuel solutions which can make the leap from the laboratory to the global shipping fleet. Initiatives such as the LEO Coalition are an important catalyst in this process,” said Søren Toft, Maersk COO.

Lignin is a structural bio-polymer which contributes to the rigidity of plants. Lignin is isolated in large quantities as a by-product of lignocellulosic ethanol and pulp and paper mills. Currently, it is often incinerated to produce steam and electricity.

“Our customers’ ambitions on sustainability are increasing rapidly, and we applaud this development. Clearly, LEO would be a great step forward for supply chain sustainability, and it has the potential to be a viable solution for today’s fleet, and not just a future vision,” saids Craig Jasienski, CEO Wallenius Wilhelmsen.

Companies in many sectors are actively exploring solutions to reduce emissions along the entire value chains, as part of the global recognition of the importance of sustainably meeting the world’s demand for goods. Sea transport logistics plays an important role for the BMW Group´s vehicle production and distribution processes. As the company fosters sustainability along the entire value chain the participation at the LEO project is a valuable commitment.

Helena Helmersson, COO H&M Group said: “Climate change is an ongoing reality and a key challenge to all industries, including fashion. We are aware of our responsibility to stay within the planetary boundaries and are committed to reduce our impact in every aspect of our value chain, including how our products are shipped to consumers around the world. This coalition gives us the opportunity to explore the development of a low-carbon fuel for shipping today.” 

Copenhagen University is currently running the laboratory-scale development of this potential marine fuel. The project aims to move into phase II – testing the fuel on actual vessel engines – in the second quarter of 2020. Following a successful phase II, phase III will begin – the scaling up of LEO fuel production.

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