Boskalis vessels at work at the Marker Wadden nature restoration project, Markermeer, Netherlands
Dutch dredging company Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V. (Boskalis) today said it has successfully tested a new wood-based biofuel.
The testing, which also involved GoodFuels Marine, is the result of a collaboration launched last year between the two firms and Wärtsilä.
To be clear, the product is not a return to coal-based bunkers, but rather a drop-in biofuel produced by Finland's UPM Biofuels and described as "the first ever biofuel derived from wood residue used in a marine fleet."
Wood residue is typically the by product of timber processing.
The fuel, UPM BioVerno, was used aboard Boskalis' 1,696 DWT cutter suction dredger Edax as it worked on the Marker Wadden nature reserve project in the first half of 2016, and was said to have resulted in a CO2 saving of 600 metric tonnes (mt) over the operating period.
"We are extremely proud to add UPM Biofuels as a new partner in our ground-breaking test program with Boskalis and Wärtsilä. This co-operation will help to further accelerate supply of truly sustainable biofuel to the global maritime industry," said Dirk Kronemeijer, CEO of GoodFuels Marine.
Maarten van Biezen, Mobility Policy Director at Dutch NGO Natuur & Milieu called the project "a true example for both the shipping and the biofuels industry of how to apply waste and residue-based biofuels."