Bureau Veritas White Paper looks at fuel alternatives for maritime sector

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Testing, inspection and certification firm Bureau Veritas (BV) has launched a detailed outlook on future maritime fuels in a new white paper, which calls for a “well-to-wake” (WtW) approach to assessing the climate impact and sustainability of alternative fuels.
This is one of the key conclusions of the white paper, which evaluates alternative fuels such as biofuels, hydrogen and ammonia, outlining their respective characteristics, advantages, challenges, availability, safety, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
A well-to-wake approach accounts for all GHG emissions released from the extraction or production phase, the distribution of the fuel, through to the final use onboard vessels, as opposed to just the emissions resulting from combustion on board.
Paul Delouche, Strategy Director at Bureau Veritas and lead author of the report, said: “Assessing alternative fuel options must be done from a well-to-wake basis to achieve true decarbonization in the shipping industry. Only through a complete life-cycle analysis can the environmental impact of fuels be properly evaluated. Understanding how these fuels are produced and transported is paramount.”
The white paper describes how the industry will see a mix of alternative fuels in the near future, with fuel choices influenced by vessel’s types, sizes and operational profiles, as well as the availability of the fuels and bunkering infrastructures at scale.
Access to renewable electricity on a large scale will be key to produce e-fuels and hydrogen, and a cross-sector approach will be needed to share resources such as wind and solar power between maritime and other sectors.
Ulrik Dan Frørup, chief commercial director at Bureau Veritas marine and offshore, said: “Changing marine fuels will necessitate major changes to the entire fuel supply and logistics chain. This will have an enormous impact on maritime businesses worldwide. The clock is ticking down to 2050, and the sooner we decarbonise, the better. At BV, we believe that the maritime world will gain in prominence in a decarbonised future, becoming the backbone of low- and zero-carbon transportation.”
The full white paper Alternative Fuels Outlook for Shipping – an Overview of Alternative Fuels from a Well-to-Wake Perspective can be downloaded here

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