DP World-owned Unifeeder has collaborated with MAN Energy Solutions and shipowner Elbdeich Reederei to launch the world-first marine trial of carbon-neutral liquefied synthetic natural gas (SNG) at Germany’s Port of Brunsbüttel.

Other project partners include Liquind Marine, Wessels Marine and Kiwi.

As part of the project, Unifeeder-operated ship ElbBlue was fuelled with liquefied SNG for a trial expedition.

Unifeeder and other partners have been involved in the project for the past two years, targeting a reduction in carbon emissions in the maritime shipping sector.

The liquefied SNG, which was generated at Kiwi’s Power-to-Gas centre in Werlte, Germany, is a synthetic form of liquefied natural gas (LNG) produced completely from renewable energy.

Fuelled with a blend of 20t SNG and 20t LNG, ElbBlue is anticipated to save nearly 56t of carbon output on its future voyage to St Petersburg, as against 100% LNG-based operations.

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In 2017, the ship was retrofitted with Man Energy Solutions’ dual-fuel engine to support operations on LNG.

According to Man Energy Solutions, its engine cuts down SOx emissions by >99%, NOx by nearly 90%, and CO₂ by up to 20% basis conventional LNG.

If successful, the trial is expected to promote the use of renewable SNG and dual-fuel engines to minimise the industry’s carbon emissions.

In another development, Unifeeder recently unveiled its Actual Emission Tracker, a tool that enables clients to calculate greenhouse gas emissions at the specific TEU level.

Unifeeder CEO and DP World Marine Services COO Jesper Kristensen said: “A successful trial voyage will complement our environmental initiatives across Europe, such as our investment in more efficient rail and barge inland services, as well as our ongoing sustainability ambitions at our terminals across Europe.

“And with the launch of the Actual Emission Tracker by Unifeeder, we are seeking to provide our customers with the tools and options that help them to measure output and make lower-carbon supply chain choices.”