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Maersk, Dutch partners launch world’s largest maritime biofuel pilot

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Members of the Dutch Sustainable Growth Coalition (DSGC) have partnered with A. P. Moller – Maersk on the world’s largest maritime biofuel project.

Dutch companies FrieslandCampina, Heineken, Philips, DSM, Shell and Unilever will work with Maersk on a pilot, which will use up to 20% sustainable second-generation biofuels to power a triple-E ocean vessel.

According to the project partners, the vessel will sail the 25,000-nautical mile roundtrip from Rotterdam to Shanghai solely on biofuel blends. Using this sustainable fuel, produced from waste cooking oil, will save 1.5 million kilograms of carbon dioxide (CO2) and 20,000 kilograms of sulphur.

Speaking about the importance of decarbonising ocean shipping, Jan Peter Balkenende, chair of the DSGC, said: “This pilot testing biofuel on a cross ocean shipping lane marks an important step. However, many more innovations are urgently needed. These can only be successfully developed, tested and implemented in industry collaborations like this.”

Søren Toft, chief operating officer at A. P. Moller – Maersk, added: “To reach our net zero CO2 target by 2050, in the next 10 years we need big breakthroughs. Maersk cannot do this alone. That is why this collaboration with DSGC and its members is such an important step in identifying and bringing low carbon solutions to life.”

The DSCG members initiated and are sponsoring the pilot, while Shell will supply fuel and Maersk will act as operating partner.

The roundtrip voyage will take place between March and June this year.