Prioristing E-fuels for Road Transport Could Prove Detrimental to Shipping's Decarbonising Efforts

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Wednesday November 8, 2023

Supplying biofuel to the road sector could limit supply to other hard-to-decarbonise sectors such as shipping, a green transport body has said.

The by-product from refining synthetic crude oil (e-crude) leads to the production of different fuel types. But prioritising which fuel types impacts e-fuel supply to different transport sectors, according to a briefing paper from Transport & Environment.

If the majority of the e-crude yield is prioritised for road transport there would be little left for aviation,shipping or the chemical industry, T&E argues.

A possible split benefitting aviation, shipping, and the chemical industry could be 50% e-kerosene, 25% e-diesel, and 25% e-naphtha, it suggests.

"In the case of shipping, at least 1% of its European Union fuel demand needs to be covered by renewable fuels of non-biological origin (RFNBOs) such as e-diesel by 2031, otherwise a sunrise clause kicks in, mandating at least 2% RFNBOs by 2034.

"Refining of e-crude should therefore be optimised for e-kerosene, and any co-products left should be used to decarbonise hard-to-abate sectors such as shipping or the chemical industries.

"For shipping, the key focus should be on green hydrogen and other fuels based on it, such as e-ammonia and e-methanol."

The risk for maritime supply arises if biofuels are credited in the CO2 standards for heavy-duty vehicles which would incentivise fuel producers to sell into the sector, according to the paper which can be found here.