Boskalis using biofuels to achieve CO2 reductions

Written by Nick Blenkey
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SEPTEMBER 25, 2018 — Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V. (Boskalis) will use a biofuel blend on on an offshore windfarm project resulting in a more sustainable realization of this renewable energy project.

The Borssele Alpha export cable project is being executed on behalf of TenneT and is aimed at connecting the Borssele offshore grid with the Dutch high-voltage grid.

During this project Boskalis will run its vessels on a biofuel blend of up to 30 per cent. As of last week the large trailing suction hopper dredge Prins der Nederlanden was operating on a biofuel blend, resulting in a substantial CO2 reduction.

“In addition to the safe, efficient and reliable transportation of electricity TenneT’s objectives include doing this in a sustainable way,” says Marco Kuijpers, senior manager Offshore Netherlands at TenneT. “To achieve this we take various measures to mitigate or offset the impact of our activities on the environment and we are working towards making our operations climate-neutral by 2025. And so we warmly applaud Boskalis’ initiative to use a biofuel blend to power its vessels. This results in an even more environmentally conscious approach to a sustainable project like the Borssele offshore grid.”

Using biofuel is one aspect of the “Boskalis on Bio” program, for which the company recently signed a long-term partnership with biofuel supplier GoodFuels.

The program is aimed at achieving a 35% reduction in the CO2 emitted by the Boskalis fleet and equipment in the Netherlands in the next five years. Various sea trials conducted by Boskalis have shown that sustainable biofuels lead to an impressive reduction in CO2 emissions of up to 90% compared to fossil fuels, and are also much more effective than alternatives such as liquefied natural gas (LNG).

On the Marker Wadden project, Boskalis performed dredging work for six months using a B50 biofuel blend, consisting of 50% residual products from the paper industry which also resulted in a huge reduction in CO2. Boskalis now uses this fuel to power not just its vessels but also its dry earthmoving equipment and trucks in the Netherlands.

“We see offshore wind as a major growth market for our sustainable marine biofuels,” says Isabel Welten, Head of Netherlands based GoodFuels Marine. “We are happy to see that for the construction of offshore wind parks, the total footprint is taken into consideration, including the emissions from the fuel for the vessels. We are grateful to Boskalis for taking the industry lead in this and hope to see that more and more project owners will take this as a requirement for future projects.”

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