Dry Bulk Carrier Tests 100% Liquefied Biogas in Baltic

The M/S Vikki took on the LBG at Raahe, Finland. Image Credit: ESL Shipping

Dry bulk shipping firm ESL Shipping is testing 100% liquefied biogas (LBG) as a bunker fuel on board one of its vessels in the Baltic, the company said Thursday.

The dry bulk carrier M/S Vikki was bunkered with LBG supplied by Gasum at Raahe, Finland, where it is transporting iron ore for Swedish steel company SSAB, ESL said in a stateement on its website.

The trial marks the first use of 100% LBG in shipping in Finland.

LBG, a type of LNG produced from biomass, may be able to help the shipping industry achieve its greenhouse gas emission cut targets if the full life-cycle of the fuel is taken into account.

Shipowners currently operating LNG-fuelled tonnage should be able to take on LBG as a drop-in alternative fuel, either as 100% biogas or blended in as a fraction of their LNG.

“The wider deployment of biogas has been delayed by the relatively limited availability of biogas,” ESL said in the statement.

“There is also the cost factor to consider, but nowadays more and more companies are seeing the value of reducing emissions throughout their supply chains.

“One of the forerunners is SSAB, which aims to bring fossil-free steel to the market as the world’s first steel company as early as 2026.

“The entire company’s operations are scheduled to be fossil-free by 2045.”

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