BMW Group has joined UECC and the GoodShipping Program for the testing of marine biofuel oil (BFO) on UECC’s roll-on / roll-off (RoRo) car-carrying vessels.

This follows the announcement of UECC and the GoodShipping Program’s three-month biofuel trial.

The fuel is being trialled on UECC’s 2,080-vehicle carrier M/V Autosky, which is 140m-long.

BMW Group plans to cover the fuel premium for a biofuel volume that is equivalent to the shipped freight on the vessel during the trial.

With this, BMW Group can claim up to 80% to 90% of CO₂ emission reduction for the shipments, which amounts to 400t of carbon.

In March, the first volume of biofuel was supplied to M/V Autosky in the Port of Rotterdam.

Currently, M/V Autosky is testing BFO on Zeebrugge-Santander route.

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BFO is made from used cooking oil by GoodFuels in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

By using biofuel, well-to-exhaust CO₂ emissions are reduced by 80% to 90%. The fuel is also said to be SOx-free compared to other conventional fossil fuels.

The trial demonstrates that there are means to decrease the carbon footprint in the transport goods and vehicles around the world.

When the second-generation advanced biofuels are scaled up to meet demand, shipowners and operators will be able to adhere to the legislation regarding sulphur content for marine fuels.

UECC Energy and Sustainability Manager Daniel Gent said: “At UECC, we want to support our customers and enable them to make proactive, conscious choices about their cargo transportation.

“BMW Group’s participation to continue our trial on our RoRo vessel M/V Autosky should, therefore, signal to the automotive sector that the means to decarbonise are readily available and that our vessels are equipped to meet this most important of challenges for the shipping industry.”

The GoodShipping Program Growth Captain Anniek Sluis added: “We are delighted to have BMW Group join us for continuing this pioneering trial of marine biofuel within the RoRo segment. Transportation logistics have a huge carbon impact so the leadership shown by BMW Group to proactively take steps to decarbonise and recognise that solutions are available should act as a call for others in the sector to join us on this journey.”