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Bunker Holding, Renewable Energy Group partner to advance bio-based diesel in shipping

Global marine fuel supplier and trader Bunker Holding and renewable fuels supplier Renewable Energy Group (REG) are partnering to “further develop the U.S. and EU marine markets for sustainable bio-based diesel,” they said Friday.

The agreement aims to advance the use of bio-based diesel in the shipping industry, with a focus on high-traffic areas in North America and Europe. The companies will expand the use of bio-based diesel in those regions where trials of B20 and B30 are being conducted. 

REG’s bio-based diesel includes biodiesel and renewable diesel, “which is another cleaner alternative to traditional petroleum diesel,” a spokesperson at REG told FreightWaves. B20 is 20% bio-based diesel and 80% conventional diesel, whereas B30 is 30% bio-based diesel and 70% conventional diesel.

“Partnering with Bunker Holding will accelerate the marine industry adoption of biodiesel to achieve aggressive carbon reduction goals,” Bob Kenyon, senior vice president of sales and marketing at REG, said in the release. “Our renewable fuels and customer service are helping to reduce GHG today and offer a plug-and-play solution for the current shipping infrastructure.”

The spokesperson said biodiesel can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 86% over the fuel’s entire life cycle. REG did not specify the exact emissions benefits of using B20 or B30 compared to conventional diesel.

Read: Scrubber alternative can now capture carbon emissions on vessels

Using biodiesel or renewable diesel to lower emissions doesn’t require equipment modifications or technology investments, which makes the initial cost barrier lower than for other alternative fuels. REG did not share information about the cost of its bio-based diesel, but the spokesperson said the performance and environmental benefits provide value to users.

REG will work with Bunker Holding, the “world’s largest supplier and trader of marine fuels,” to help Bunker Holding expand and scale its portfolio of sustainable fuel offerings. 

“Engaging in partnerships with actors from value chains outside our normal boundaries is a cornerstone of our decarbonization strategy. The energy transition in shipping cannot be solved individually, and we acknowledge the importance of working closely together with partners, such as REG, who bring great expertise and complement our core capabilities within bunkering,” Christoffer Berg Lassen, CCO of Bunker Holding, said in the release.

REG said it produced 519 million gallons of cleaner fuel, leading to a reduction of 4.2 million metric tons of carbon emissions, in 2020. In October, REG also entered into an agreement with marine biofuels supplier GoodFuels to advance the development and supply of sustainable marine biofuel solutions for the maritime industry.

REG, based in Ames, Iowa, seeks to lower GHG emissions on oceans, rails and roads. Because biodiesel is oxygenated, the spokesperson said, it combusts more completely in the engine and has better lubricity, which “means the engine should run smoother, cooler and result in less wear.”

Lassen said: “As conventional fossil fuel continues to power most of the world’s marine fleet, we are thrilled to engage in this collaboration with REG. It not only further strengthens our supply chain of alternative fuel, but also deepens our know-how and insight of biofuels.”

Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Alyssa Sporrer.

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