Blockchain to Track Sustainable Biofuel
Japanese shipping company NYK, global mining company BHP, green biofuel company GoodFuels and the developer of blockchain applications for the maritime industry Blockchain Labs for Open Collaboration (BLOC) bunkered biofuel in the tanks a BHP vessel in Netherlands.
The Netherlands based GoodFuels Marine, a supplier of sustainable low carbon marine fuels, has annouced the successful delivery of sustainable biofuels to the BHP-chartered, NYK-owned bulk carrier Frontier Sky, with CO2 savings verified with BLOC’s blockchain fuels assurance platform.
The advanced biofuel, supplied by GoodFuels via logistics partner Varo Energy, is a ‘drop-in’ marine gasoil (MGO)-equivalent, and was blended with conventional fossil-based MGO in a mix of 30% biofuel to 70% conventional MGO. This delivery saves over 50 tonnes of CO2, equivalent to the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of approximately 125,000 miles driven by car, and sets the stage for further savings, driven by switching to this carbon neutral fuel.
This is an important step in the decarbonisation strategies of both BHP and NYK. NYK was recently recognised as a global leader on corporate climate action by the environmental non-profit organisation CDP, achieving a place on the Climate Change A-List for its climate strategy. NYK’s reduction targets for GHG emissions are 30% per ton-km by 2030 compared with a 2015 base year, and 50% per ton-km by 2050.
BHP works with its customers to help them improve the productivity and environmental performance from the use of its products, and is identifying more strategic relationship opportunities to achieve material emissions reductions.
BHP has worked with GoodFuels to explore the use of sustainable, advanced, second generation biofuels for shipping. A vital part of this is the inclusion of solutions to verify chains of custody, and that only sustainably produced biofuels are used in the process and that the origin, emission reductions and fuel quality metrics are traceable and transparent.
This solution was provided by BLOC’s initiative Maritime Blockchain Labs and developed together in a consortium led by BLOC and funded by Lloyd’s Register Foundation. The consortium aims to create an inclusive support system that enhances marine fuel traceability and provides a clear chain of custody for better quality assurance in the bunker fuel supply chain.
Abdes Karimi, Head of Strategy and Planning at BHP said: “We recognise we have a stewardship role, working with our customers, suppliers and others along the value chain to influence emissions reductions across the full life cycle of our products. We fully support moves to decarbonise the freight industry, including implementing IMO2020. Biofuels offer an innovative approach to more sustainable bunker fuel. It’s important for us to ensure the biofuel we use is sustainably produced and traceable."
Abdes added: "This consortium has invented new ways of working that improve productivity and reliability in the bunker fuel supply chain and enable trustful tracking of both the provenance and carbon savings. It demonstrates an effective model for the whole industry to build on in the future.”
Hiroshi Kawaguchi, general manager of the Dry Bulk Marine Quality Control Group at NYK said: “For shipping to reduce its carbon emissions, we need to ensure that we are exploring how all available technologies can play a part. Using sustainable marine fuel like biofuel unlocks significant emissions savings that, alongside increased efficiency, a reduction in downtime, and increased optimization through hardware innovation and digitalization, move us towards our science-based GHG reduction targets.”
Isabel Welten, Head of Marine, GoodFuels added: “We want to make it as easy as possible for vessels to use biofuels to reduce their footprint. By documenting emissions savings and chains of custody, and combining this with smart incentives to use cleaner fuels, we can build a trusted, financially viable pathway towards zero-carbon shipping.”
Deanna MacDonald, CEO, BLOC, said: “We’re building on an earlier trial undertaken in September and are moving towards validating an important decarbonisation pathway with blockchain technology. We are further testing the prototype in a real world setting to capture the biofuel delivery from BHP, and to create a complete digital audit trail, with extended functionality for biofuels and emissions tracking. This is an important demonstration of how blockchain technology could play a role in creating a global, trusted MRV system, and build the trust necessary for broader adoption of cleaner fuels both in terms of meeting 2020 sulphur cap requirements and the IMO’s 2050 decarbonisation goal.”