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Sunday, December 2, 2018 

Danish shipowner Norden has successfully completed a test voyage with a large commercial ocean-going vessel being powered by CO2 neutral biofuel. The development indicates that 2nd generation CO2 neutral biofuel is a technically and economically viable alternative to fossil fuel.

Norden CEO Jan Rindbo, NORDEN, said: “Norden is proud to be at the forefront of testing and introducing CO2 neutral fuel that truly makes an impact on the highly important agenda of reducing the carbon footprint of shipping.”

The test, supported by the NGO Ecological Council,  was found not to have negatively impacted the vessel’s engine in any way.

Kåre Press-Kristensen, Senior Adviser, Ecological Council, said: “We appreciate that Norden is investigating specific solutions to the climate challenge. We need actions here and now to meet the climate goals of the IMO and we are proud that Norden takes action, taking a leading role in biofuels, and look forward to following the development.”

 Norden has come a long way in increasing fuel efficiency and has reduced CO2 emissions per tonne cargo transported on owned tanker vessels by 25% between 2007 to 2017. However, despite newly introduced IMO targets on CO2reductions, the shipowner believes increased fuel efficiency alone is not enough. “We need alternative solutions and with this test, Norden has shown a viable method towards reaching these targets,” said Rindbo.

“Now that we have proven CO2 neutral transport as a viable alternative, I am convinced many carbon conscious customers within a foreseeable future will demand this type of transport.” 

Acknowledging that biofuel may not be the sole solution in the long term, the company believes that second generation biofuels can contribute significantly to reducing CO2 emissions.

The test on the 37,000dwt product tanker Nord Highlander was conducted in September 2018  on a voyage between Rotterdam and Tallinn, in co-operation with Rotterdam-based GoodFuels – a market leader in advanced sustainable fuels.

To compare how the engine reacted on the biofuel as an alternative to low sulphur fossil fuel, the first operate on fossil fuel. After a visual inspection of the engine, it then switched to biofuel. During the voyage the engine was operated at different loads for sufficiently long periods to establish stable performance. After the test, a final visual inspection of the engine was conducted, which confirmed that the engine was not negatively affected by the biofuel.

Norden will continue working with GoodFuels to gain further experience with biofuel as an alternative to low sulphur fossil fuel. Norden is also considering other possibilities to lower the carbon footprint. The goal is to offer commercially attractive CO2 neutral transport to customers within the foreseeable future.

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