Inaugural Sustainable Maritime Fuels Forum Draws US, Australian Biofuels Leadership
by Jim Lane/Dr. Susan Pond (Biofuels Digest/Dow Sustainability Program at the University of Sydney’s United States Studies Centre) In Australia, the inaugural Sustainable Maritime Fuels Forum was held this week as part of the Pacific 2012 International Maritime Exposition in Sydney. The presentations are available on the website, here.
…Dr. Susan Pond of the Dow Sustainability Program at the University of Sydney’s United States Studies Centre offers a full recap of the highlights, including presentations from CAAFI chief Rich Altman, Tom Hicks and Chris Tindal of the US Navy, Andrew Lawson, CEO MBD Energy; Steve Rogers, CEO of Licella; and Gevo’s Jack Huttner.
The full conference report is downloadable here.
Excerpt from report: I was instigator and Chair of the Forum because I saw the maritime sector as being relatively neglected in the world of advanced biofuels. As Bo Ellehave from Maersk told the Forum “things used to be simple. Fuel costs used to be low and predictable. Environmental regulation for shipping used to be limited and manageable. CO2 emissions used to be a non-issue for shipping. One size fits all used to be the paradigm for marine fuels.”
Not any more.
…Non-negotiable constraints are that the fuels must seamlessly “drop-in” to and be interchangeable with petroleum in existing supply lines, ships, aircraft and all other vehicles, have price parity to petroleum, and have “ground to tail pipe” green house gas emissions no greater than petroleum and preferably much less. Allies intending to obtain fuel from or supply fuel to the U.S. Navy tankers will need to be interoperable.
The Great Green Fleet, the emblematic plank of the Navy’s strategy, is due to set sail in 2016 and re-fuel with 50:50 blends of advanced biofuels in ports around the world, including Australia. The Great Green Fleet will need 8 million barrels of advanced biofuels, approximate half for its planes and half for its ships.
…The U.S. Navy has 285 ships; the commercial shipping company, Maersk, has 600 ships. Bo Ellehave outlined the voyage that Maersk is taking to achieve 25% reduction in relative CO2 emissions by 2020 (compared to 2007) efficiency improvements and to drive SOx emissions towards zero. They include alternatives to current bunker fuels. Maersk has an active testing program with companies developing advanced biofuels.
…Just when we thought we had all the answers, Arnauld Filancia, Wartsila Corporation, blew us out of the water with tranche of new questions.
Wartsila is looking forward and describing “alternative, plausible futures” through company’s Shipping Scenarios 2030 (http://www.wartsila.com/shippingscenarios).
Why should ships need any liquid fuel? Why not have ships powered by Flettner rotors to harness wind energy? Why not have ocean-going, unmanned ships running on solar power and biogas continuously harvesting algae into barges? Why not have ships offload fresh water produced during en route by desalination?
The world needs more economically and environmentally efficient shipping. We have many viable solutions which also make good business sense. Now it’s time to set sail for the new horizon. READ MORE