British energy giant bp and the world's second-largest metals and mining company Rio Tinto agreed to work together on a one-year biofuel trial to help reduce carbon emissions from Rio Tinto's marine fleet, the companies announced in a joint statement on Monday.
Under one of the longest-duration marine biofuel trials to date, bp will supply Rio Tinto with marine biofuel for approximately 12 months. The fuel will be trialed on Rio Tinto's RTM Tasman vessel on a mix of transatlantic and Atlantic-Pacific routes.
The results of the trial will help Rio Tinto study ways to reduce its carbon emissions from its marine fleet and devise its future biofuel strategy.
In recognition of the importance of sustainable biofuels as transition fuel on the way to net-zero marine emissions, Rio Tinto Head of Commercial Operations, Laure Baratgin, said 'A longer-duration trial will provide important information on the potential role and wide scale use of biofuels, and aligns with our goals to reduce marine emissions across our value chain and support efforts to decarbonize the maritime industry.'
She voiced Rio Tinto's ambition to reach net-zero emissions from shipping of its products to customers by 2050, and added that the company is also committed to the introduction of net-zero carbon vessels into its portfolio by 2030.
The trial period includes using a bp-manufactured B30 biofuel blend composed of 30% fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) blended with very low sufur fuel oil (VLSFO).
The companies said this B30 biofuel blend can reduce lifecycle carbon dioxide emissions by up to 26% compared to standard marine fuel oil.
FAME is a renewable alternative fuel (biodiesel) largely produced from recycled cooking oils and renewable oil sources. It has physical properties similar to conventional diesel, and is a “drop-in fuel”, requiring no modifications to the engine or vessel.
By Sibel Morrow