Safe Bulkers partners with Cargill on biofuel trial

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Monaco-headquartered Safe Bulkers Inc. (NYSE: SB) reports that a pilot biofuel trial carried out in partnership with Cargill has resulted in a significant reduction in CO2 emissions compared with operations on conventional very low sulfur fuel oil.

Safe Bulkers has been taking several environmental initiatives aimed at reducing its carbon footprint, including assessing the use of biofuels as alternative fuels. A number of pilot projects have been designed to test the operational performance and the interaction of biofuels with the vessel’s main engine and diesel generators operations and to assess the CO2 emissions reduction.

In the first pilot project, the 2020-built, 85,000 dwt M/V Troodos Oak received 346 metric tonnes of biofuel blend B20, consisting of 20% spent bleaching earth oil mixed with conventional VLSFO.

The project was performed in cooperation with vessel’s charterer Cargill, Cargill Marine Fuels and Oil chart as suppliers of the blended bio bunkers, the vessel’s classification society Lloyds Register and the flag state, Cyprus.

The trial followed the guidelines of EU’s Renewable Energy Directive “RED II” on calculating CO2 emissions. The trials resulted in a 13.54% CO2 equivalent reduction compared to conventional VLSFO. No modification to existing ship equipment was required. No operational abnormalities or wear have been observed in the main engine and diesel generators.

For the purposes of the European Union – MRV CO2 emissions reporting schemes and International Maritime Organization DCS scheme, the reported CO2 emissions, as verified by LR and accepted by the Cyprus Flag, are 20% lower compared to the VLSFO.

Safe Bulkers says it now expanding the project in partnership with Cargill, to include additional vessels and higher biofuel blends, measuring in addition the nitrogen oxide emissions.

Dr. Loukas Barmparis, president of the company commented: “The successful pilot project that we have completed with Cargill is encouraging for the use of biofuels as alternative fuels. We will continue to assess their use in parallel to other available technologies targeting to optimize our operations and improve our environmental footprint.’’

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