NYK trials blockchain in biofuel bunkering

The 179,288-dwt bulker Frontier Sky completed a trial bunkering operation of biofuel at the port of Rotterdam (credit: GoodFuels Marine) The 179,288-dwt bulker Frontier Sky completed a trial bunkering operation of biofuel at the port of Rotterdam (credit: GoodFuels Marine)

Shipping and logistics company Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK) announced that it had completed a trial bunkering operation of biofuel to the BHP-chartered, NYK-owned bulk carrier Frontier Sky at the port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands on 30 January 2019.

This trial was performed in collaboration with global mining company BHP and leading sustainable biofuel company GoodFuels.

The advanced biofuel, supplied by GoodFuels via logistics partner Varo Energy, is a ‘drop-in’ marine gasoil (MGO)-equivalent, and was blended with conventional fossil-based MGO in a mix of 30% biofuel to 70% conventional MGO.

The operation included the participation of BLOC (Blockchain Labs for Open Collaboration), a developer of blockchain applications for the maritime industry, which verified CO2 savings verified with BLOC’s blockchain fuels assurance platform.

This technology enhances the traceability of marine fuel and provides a clear chain of custody for better quality assurance in the bunker fuel supply chain. BHP noted the delivery saved over 50 tonnes of CO2 and marked an important step in the decarbonisation strategies of both BHP and NYK.

Abdes Karimi, Head of Strategy and Planning at BHP said: “We recognise we have a stewardship role, working with our customers, suppliers and others along the value chain to influence emissions reductions across the full life cycle of our products. We fully support moves to decarbonise the freight industry, including implementing IMO 2020. Biofuels offer an innovative approach to more sustainable bunker fuel.”

Interest in such assurance platforms may rise, as companies are encouraged to report their indirect downstream greenhouse gas emissions, although such Scope 3 emissions reporting remains voluntary for UK listed companies, for example. BHP noted in its Scope 3 Emissions Calculation Methodology 2018 report that emissions associated with the freight of its products amounted to 5 million tonnes of CO2, of which marine freight accounted for around 95%, and that “such emissions are of increasing interest as a component of our value chain, and may contribute to the exposure of our business to climate-related risk”.

The CEO of BLOC, Deanna MacDonald, noted BLOC is testing the prototype in a real world and plans to create a complete digital audit trail, with extended functionality for biofuels and emissions tracking.

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