Under the agreement, BP will supply Rio Tinto with marine biofuel for approximately 12 months. The fuel will be tested on Rio Tinto’s RTM Tasman vessel on a combination of transatlantic and Atlantic-Pacific routes, in one of the longest running marine biofuel trials to date. The trial results will help Rio Tinto study ways to reduce carbon emissions from its marine fleet and inform its future biofuels strategy.
“Sustainable biofuels are important to help decarbonize the shipping industry in the short to medium term as we transition to net-zero solutions in the longer term. We are proud to work with Rio Tinto to support their decarbonisation work. These tests are part of our ongoing efforts to help accelerate the shipping industry’s energy transition.” Sven Boss-Walker, Senior Vice President of Refining and Product Marketing
Rio Tinto ‘s head of business operations, Laure Baratgin , said: “Sustainable biofuels have the potential to be an important transition fuel on the path to net-zero marine emissions and we are pleased to work with bp to carry out this trial at long term.
“A longer duration trial will provide important insights into the potential role and large-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.
“Our ambition is to achieve net zero emissions from shipping our products to customers by 2050 and introduce net zero carbon vessels to our portfolio by 2030. We know we will not meet these ambitions alone and along the way we will need to work with capable and experienced companies like BP.”
Sven Boss-Walker, senior vice president of refining and commodity trading at BP , said: “Sustainable biofuels are important to help decarbonise the shipping industry in the short to medium term as we transition from net-zero solutions to more long term. We are proud to work with Rio Tinto to support their decarbonisation work. These tests are part of our ongoing efforts to help accelerate the shipping industry’s energy transition.”
The extended trial agreement follows a successful voyage on the RTM Tasman after it refueled with biofuel in Rotterdam in March 2022 for the first time and then picked up its first cargo from the trial at Iron Ore Company of Canada’s Sept-Îles port. in Quebec in April. All biofuel refueling during the test will take place in Rotterdam.
The trial uses a B30 biofuel blend manufactured by bp consisting of 30% fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) blended with very low sulfur fuel oil (VLSFO). This B30 biofuel blend can reduce life cycle carbon dioxide emissions by up to 26% compared to standard marine fuel.
FAME is a renewable alternative fuel (biodiesel) produced largely from recycled cooking oils and renewable oil sources. It has physical properties similar to conventional diesel and is a “drop fuel”, requiring no engine or boat modifications. The origin and production of the raw materials used to produce FAME are certified for their sustainability according to internationally recognized standards.
Working with BP and Anglo Eastern ship managers, the trial will look at a range of engine and fuel performance factors, including engine efficiency and fuel consumption, corrosion and degradation, microbial growth, the impact of temperature, fuel switching impacts and fuel stability.
Rio Tinto is also accelerating the fulfillment of its climate commitments in shipping. It has achieved a 30% reduction in the intensity of its owned and chartered fleet from a 2008 baseline, and is on track to meet the International Maritime Organization’s 2030 targets of a 40% reduction in emissions five years earlier, by 2025.
bp is working with companies in key industry sectors such as shipping, which have significant carbon emissions to manage, supporting their work to decarbonise.