Stolt Tankers Joins Growing List of Biofuel Bunker Trialists

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Wednesday April 7, 2021

Stolt-Nielsen unit Stolt Tankers has joined the rapidly goring number of operators testing biofuel bunkers as part of their emissions reduction plans.

The trial is set to take place on board the 37,000 DWT chemical tanker Stolt Inspiration on a voyage from Rotterdam to Houston. Bunkering for the trial was completed at the end of last week at the Port of Rotterdam.

Following in the footsteps of several other owners, the biofuel for the trial as been supplied by producer GoodFuels.

Drop in biofuels, such as those produced by GoodFuels, are extremely attractive to the shipping industry as they are a like-for-like replacement for regular oil bunkers, so require no modifications to the vessel for use.

However, compared to their fossil fuel equivalents, GoodFuels says their biofuels have the potential to deliver a well-to-exhaust CO2 reduction of between 80 and 90%.

Like many of their peers, Stolt Tankers says the trial will assess the viability of biofuel use in both engines and boilers, and will test the fuel’s impact on consumption, power, and reliability.

“I am excited to see the results of the trial.” Said Lucas Vos, President Stolt Tankers.

“This is just one of the areas that we are exploring as the industry moves towards a carbon-neutral future. We are committed to working with other leaders to explore innovative technologies including biofuels, hydrogen, wind, ammonia and methanol, to reduce our environmental footprint, while continuing to provide customers with the high quality service they expect from us.”

Historically, one of the biggest barriers to biofuel use has been cost.

But speaking to Ship & Bunker last year, GoodFuels CEO Dirk Kronemeijer said the premium is now just "small percentages" more than conventional bunker fuels, rather than being several times the price.

With growing interest in biofuel driven by the industry's necessity to reduce its emissions footprint, economies of scale are the main factor behind reducing the premium to oil bunkers.