The company plans to set up long-term supply contracts with the three suppliers, and to establish more partnerships along the same lines over time. Image Credit: Virgin Voyages
Cruise line Virgin Voyages has set up partnerships with three biofuel suppliers with a view to using their fuels in its fleet.
In conjunction with the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials, the cruise line has established partnerships with biofuel providers Argent Energy, GoodFuels and Twelve, it said in a statement on its website this week.
The company plans to set up long-term supply contracts with the three suppliers, and to establish more partnerships along the same lines over time.
"In order to significantly reduce our carbon footprint further, we must transition to lower-carbon fuel sources as soon as possible," Tom McAlpin, CEO of Virgin Voyages, said in the statement.
"We could do this today with our existing engines if more sustainable 'drop-in' fuels were available in our ports of call.
"Unfortunately, these fuels are not yet widely available, and in most cases, are not cost competitive.
"We want to work with partners to pioneer for the essential change."
Liquid biofuels can be used as drop-in replacements for conventional bunkers without significant engine modifications, either in blends or on their own. But biofuels remain much more expensive than fossil bunkers, and will need either to be supported with subsidies or for conventional fuels to be taxed for their carbon emissions, for their use to become more widespread.