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Jan De Nul to operate hopper dredger on renewable biofuel

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Luxemboug-headquartered maritime infrastructure provider Jan De Nul Group has announced plans to switch to 100% renewable fuel, as it continues to carry out dredging work in the Benelux with fully renewable fuel options.

The company has committed to reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, while its trailing suction hopper dredger Alexander von Humboldt will now be operated on renewable biofuel from certified and sustainable waste streams.

As part of its ambitious emission reduction objectives, Jan De Nul hopes to collaborate with the Flemish Government to introduce a minimum CO2 reduction obligation of 15% for 80% of the maintenance dredging contracts in Flanders by 2022.

“Why wait until tomorrow when it’s already possible today? We need concrete action,” commented Bart Praet, head of the dredging Benelux department at Jan De Nul. “This intervention makes us at least 80% CO₂ neutral. With this we want to prove to the governments and to our clients in the Benelux that if they have climate ambitions and incorporate these in the selection procedures, the market is ready for it now. At the same time, we are urging our colleagues in the sector to follow our example in a renewable and climate-neutral trajectory. We are continuing to work hard on our energy transition, relying on innovative solutions.”

“The Flemish Government is glad about the use of this renewable fuel, and will definitely include a sustainability criterion for the next procurement of the dredging contract for the evaluation of offers,” added Freddy Aerts, head of government division Maritime Access, Department of Mobility and Public Works.

The hopper dredger Alexander von Humboldt will be fuelled with sustainable biofuel, and will carry out maintenance dredging works in the maritime access routes on the North Sea and in Flemish seaports.

The second-generation biofuel, which is supplied by GoodFuels, reduced CO2 emissions by at least 80%, and is also free from sulphur. The two companies have entered into a multi-year agreement for the supply of biofuel.

“Our energy transition can start today”, concluded Michel Deruyck, head of the energy department at Jan De Nul. “As we are in continuous consultation with engine manufacturers and other suppliers, we know what is technically feasible. We continue to innovate to remain sustainable and viable in our sector, and to be able to offer our clients alternatives."