HAL’s ‘Rotterdam’ testing biofuels

2024-05-28T20:11:29+00:00 May 28th, 2024|Environment|

Earlier this month, Carnival Corp’s Holland America Line (HAL) announced the start of a long-term biofuel test on its flagship, ’Rotterdam’.

The trials leverage 100% low carbon intensity biofuel while sailing within the Norwegian World Heritage Fjords.

‘Rotterdam’ bunkered the biofuel before sailing from Rotterdam on 27th April, 2024, and will operate utilising one of its four main engines using low carbon intensity oil derived from organic waste or residues and certified according to the EU Renewable Energy Directive while in the Fjords.

The GoodFuels MR1-100 sustainable biofuel supplied by FincoEnergies will yield an estimated 86% reduction in life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions, the company claimed.

“Holland America Line is committed to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and we are excited to demonstrate a next-generation fuel source that can help us toward our pursuit of net zero emissions,” said Gus Antorcha, Holland America Line President.

“Converting items, such as food waste, into fuel is an innovative way to meet environmental challenges and we thank the Dutch government for its support.”

The initial tests will be executed during cruises in May, with the potential to expand to multiple engines during the summer while operating in the Fjords, specifically Geirangerfjord and Nærøyfjord.

HAL explained that biofuels are derived from feedstocks that are certified as 100% organic waste or residue, with no risk of land-use change or deforestation and no competition with food production.

Produced from waste fats, oils, and grease leftover from feedstock processing, biofuels are associated with minimal emissions during production.

This results in a very low carbon intensity, with an estimated reduction of 86% in emissions compared to marine gas oil (MGO).

HAL’s existing ships operate on biofuels without modifications to the engine or fuel structure and the company said that it continued to partner with companies to find ways to reduce emissions and develop alternative fuels and technologies.

“The GoodFuels MR1-100 fits the existing practice in shipping where heavier fuels are already used today,” explained Johannes Schurmann, Commercial Director International Marine at FincoEnergies.

“Together with our clients, we optimise sustainability and cost of the biofuel, while not jeopardising the performance in the engine and fuel system.”

“There is a need to look at all good alternatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the future and we see biofuels as one of the alternatives that, with the right use and origin, will contribute to emission reductions, which we welcome. The Norwegian Maritime Authority takes a positive view of all measures taken by the industry to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Alf Tore, Acting Director General of Shipping and Navigation, Norwegian Maritime Authority (NMA).

HAL is one of the first Carnival Corp brands to run a long-term 100% biofuel shipboard operation, having completed a successful first test in August, 2022. Carnival Corp’s German brand AIDA also tested GoodFuels biofuels on board ‘AIDAprima’ in Rotterdam in 2022.

While biofuels have been tested on large diesel engines at shoreside research facilities and in other shipping segments, these tests are among the first live trials on working cruise ships.