Hapag-Lloyd Sets Out Challenges of Biofuel Bunker Procurement

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Wednesday May 1, 2024

An executive of container line Hapag-Lloyd has set out the challenges the shipping industry faces in seeking to procure biofuel bunker blends at a scale sufficient to help it decarbonise.

Ilyas Muhammad, head of green fuels at Hapag-Lloyd, discussed the availability of biofuels and other alternative fuels in a recent podcast hosted by the Port of Rotterdam.

"Of course there is a limitation of biofuel availability, if you look at the overall numbers," Muhammad said.

"Only 9 million mt/year of biodiesel production is there which can process used cooking oil or animal fats as feedstock.

"Out of that 9 million mt/year, we have only 460,000 mt/year of bottoms of that product, which is FAME residue, which the maritime sector can consume while not competing with road transport or other sectors.

"It's a tiny quantity -- if you look at the overall consumption of the maritime sector, it's 320 million mt/year, so there's a big, big gap.

"That's why it's very challenging to scale up biofuels; there is no production capacity there, and secondly the feedstock is also not there."

Hapag-Lloyd consumed about 213,000 mt of biofuel blends last year, up from 120,500 mt the previous year.

The firm consumed a total of 3.97 million mt of bunker fuels in 2023, down by 4.1% on the year.