Cepsa to supply biofuels to Strait of Gibraltar ferries

2023-08-13T15:32:45+00:00 August 13th, 2023|Environment|

Spanish energy company, Cepsa is to supply biofuels to ferry operator Naviera Armas Trasmediterránea at Algeciras.

A total of 84 voyages are covered by the contract.

The biofuels are produced at the San Roque Energy Park (Campo de Gibraltar, Cádiz) from agricultural waste that would otherwise end up in landfills, thus promoting the circular economy, the company said.

Almost 100 tonnes of renewable diesel will be supplied, which will avoid 63 tonnes of CO2 emissions, equivalent to planting 750 trees.

Biofuels can reduce CO2 emissions by up to 90%, compared to conventional fuels, playing a key role in the de-carbonisation of hard-to-electrify sectors like maritime transport, Cepsa said.

This month, Naviera Armas Trasmediterránea ferries will make 84 trips across the Strait of Gibraltar, between Algecrias and Ceuta, using Cepsa’s biofuels.

This is the first time that passenger carrying ships will utilise this type of sustainable fuel in Spain, produced at Cepsa’s San Roque Energy Park from agricultural waste and supplied at Algeciras, making the Spanish port a leader in the de-carbonisation of maritime transport.

Cepsa said it was firmly committed to 2G biofuels to promote the de-carbonisation process. The energy company has 90 years experience and is based at more than 60 Spanish ports.

To produce this renewable diesel, Cepsa has transformed one of its plants at San Roque, adapting the Isomax unit for production of biofuels via co-processing.

Samir Fernández, Cepsa’s Director of Marine Fuel Solutions said: “We continue to promote sustainable mobility as one of the pillars of our strategic growth. With initiatives like these and the ones we are rolling out in air and rail transport, we are progressing towards our goal of becoming the leading biofuels producer in Spain and Portugal, while facilitating the de-carbonisation of our customers in the maritime sector.”

Agustín Aguilera, Director of Operations and Environment at Naviera Armas Trasmediterránea, added: “At Naviera Armas Trasmediterránea, we are firmly committed to the requirements of the energy transition.

“This is defined in our carbon footprint reduction plan, certified by Lloyd’s (LR) and endorsed by the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge.”

“We have taken important steps in this direction. We’ve had a natural understanding with Cepsa, which is why we entrusted them with the supply of 2G biofuels that we are already using in our ships in the Strait of Gibraltar and will extend to the rest of our fleet.”

Second-generation biofuels can be used in ships without engine modifications and have high potential for reducing CO2 emissions, compared to conventional fossil fuels.

Specifically, during the entire life cycle, from production to use on board ships, CO2 emissions can be reduced by up to 90%, compared to conventional fossil fuels.

This initiative will allow Naviera Armas Trasmediterránea ferries to sail from Algeciras with up to 15% renewable diesel in their tanks, meeting EU targets ahead of time.

The European Commission’s ‘Fit for 55’ package includes the ‘Fuel EU Maritime’ legislation, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions intensity in maritime transport by 2% in 2025, 6% in 2030 and 80% in 2050, compared to 2020 levels, by boosting the use of sustainable alternative fuels.

Prior to this initiative, and through an analysis and testing phase at its research centre, Cepsa tested the biofuels’ efficiency on its own fleet before starting to market it to customers, ensuring optimum engine operation and performance.

Cepsa also has a diversified portfolio of solutions to facilitate de-carbonisation, including products such as LNG. And thanks to new alliances, Cepsa will be able to supply synthetic marine fuels in the future, such as green ammonia or methanol produced as part of the Andalusian Green Hydrogen Valley, the largest green hydrogen project in Europe.

Cepsa and the Port of Algeciras recently participated in the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 80), where they presented different projects being worked on to promote de-carbonisation.