Following successful biofuel bunkering tests in Singapore in 2022 that led to commercial operations beginning, TotalEnergies Marine Fuels has completed its first biofuel bunkering trials in France. The biofuel bunker operations were carried out in January 2023.
TotalEnergies Marine Fuels is working on the development of several low-carbon fuels for the maritime sector, consisting of LNG, bio-methane, e-methanol, e-ammonia and others. The first trial was conducted at the Port of Le Havre on the Minerva Tychi, a tanker chartered by TotalEnergies. The vessel was supplied with 200MT of bio-marine gas oil (MGO) blend, made up of 30% second-generation, sustainable, waste-based and ISCC-certified used cooking oil methyl ester (UCOME) via truck-to-ship transfer. This was the first biofuel bunker operation completed at the port.
For the second trial, TotalEnergies and Corsica Ferries partnered to carry out at the Port of Toulon what is stated to be the first biofuel bunker operation in the French Mediterranean. A total of 100MT of biofuel consisting of MGO blended with 30% second-generation, waste-based and ISCC-certified UCOME was transferred using a truck-to-ship transfer method to the Mega Express Two, a ro-ro passenger ship.
“We are proud to be first movers in marine biofuels in the Port of Le Havre and in the French Mediterranean,” said Louise Tricoire, vice president of TotalEnergies Marine Fuels. “These operations follow the launch in January of our first commercial biofuel bunkering operation in Singapore with Hapag-Lloyd. Importantly, these trials underline our ambition and our readiness to expand our biofuels offer to our customers across Europe and beyond, to help support the growing decarbonization goals of the global shipping industry.”
Depending on the proportion of the bio-component blend, biofuels have the capability to deliver a greenhouse gas emissions saving of up to 90% from well-to-wake. The sustainable solution will also enable vessels operating in the Mediterranean Sea to adhere to tightening sulfur limits when new International Maritime Organization (IMO) regulations come into force as part of the region’s Emission Control Area (ECA) designation in 2025.
At present, TotalEnergies is conducting tests on future marine biofuels and their associated lubricants and additives to increase engine performance. The company aims to launch these biofuel blends during trail operation in the near future.
Tricoire added, “With the shipping industry’s growing interest for biofuels, we see biofuels potentially accounting between 3% to 5% of the global bunker fuel mix by 2030 and for leading ports, this percentage could go way above. Our aim is to be the bunker supplier of choice in our shipping customers’ decarbonization pathways.”