Swedish tanker owner Furetank secures biogas  supply

Written by Nick Blenkey
image description

Furetank has been a pioneer in the use of LNG as a marine fuel but has all along planned to eventually operate uts fleet on biogas,

While use of liquefied biogas (LBG) is seen as an important step towards fossil-free shipping, lack of supply is a major difficulty. To address the issue, Swedish family-owned shipping company Furetank has signed a letter of intent with Eskilstuna Biogas, enabling the development of a new biogas plant producing around 5,000 tonnes of LBG annually.

Furetank has commited to buying at least 75% of the fuel produced by the plant for 10 years. The gas will be extracted from manure and food waste from the Swedish municipalities of Eskilstuna and Strängnäs. It is upgraded to a 100% waste-based, fossil-free and renewable biofuel, LBG.

Furetank operates a new series of vessels that are best in class globally, in terms of climate standards for shipping set by the IMO. Today these vessels operate mainly on liquefied natural gas, LNG, however Furetank’s ambition from the start has been to switch over to LBG as soon as possible.

“It feels fantastic to access liquefied biogas in Sweden,” says Furetank’s CEO Lars Höglund. “With LBG produced in the right way, we can run our vessels completely without emitting CO2 or harmful particles. This is a strategic move. We developed the new efficient vessels, chose gas as a fuel and offset remaining emissions. Now we move on to securing our own supply of LBG.”

The biogas plant will be the largest environmental investment in Eskilstuna in 20 years and is being supported with approximately SEK 140 million (about $15 million) in grants from the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency. An agreement with a large customer was a requirement for obtaining funding.

Production is planned to start in the last quarter of 2023, likely to coincide with the launch of the EU Emissions Trading System for shipping.

When all shipping companies need to start paying for their carbon dioxide emissions, Furetank says it will be one step ahead.

“We became the first shipping company in Sweden and second in the world to bunker LBG in 2018,” says Höglund. “For us it was a statement; we want to head in this direction. Now we have a clear plan for the transition and are negotiating more contracts in Sweden and other European locations. It feels incredibly good. The whole organization enjoys being involved in pushing this development forward and showing that it is possible.”

Categories: Environment, News, Shipping Tags: , , , , , , , ,