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First in Korea! HMM Partners with Gs Caltex to Commence Shipboard Verification of Marine Biofuel

On September 15th, at the Port of Busan New Port Terminal 4 in South Korea, GS Caltex, the Korean oil company, supplied 500 tons of bio-marine fuel oil "B30 Bio Marine Fuel" to HMM Tacoma, a 6400TEU container ship owned by HMM, the largest shipping company in South Korea. The ship will depart from Busan New Port and sail to Singapore, India, and then to South America. This is the first practical verification of bio-marine fuel oil for ships in Korea.

Bio-marine fuel oil is produced by blending biodiesel with marine grade C fuel oil, and it can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 80%. Compared with methanol or ammonia, bio-marine fuel oil is cost-effective and can be used without the need to invest in new infrastructure, build new ship types, or modify existing ship engines, making it a practical measure to reduce carbon emissions in the shipping industry.

Compared with fossil fuels, biodiesel is produced from unused resources such as waste animal and vegetable oils and by-products of biodiesel engineering, and can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 65%, making it recognized as a zero-emission fuel. Currently, South Korea has an annual production capacity of about 2 million tons of bio-heavy oil and is providing fuel for power generation under the country's Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). The effect of reducing greenhouse gas emissions varies depending on the blending ratio of bio-heavy oil, with a higher ratio resulting in a greater reduction.

At the 80th session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) held in London in July this year, the carbon reduction effect of bio-marine fuel oil was officially recognized by the IMO.

It is reported that the bio-marine fuel oil "B30 Bio Marine Fuel" supplied to HMM Tacoma container ship is produced by GS Caltex by blending biodiesel with high sulfur fuel oil (HSFO) at a ratio of 3:7. The biodiesel is produced by DS Danseo, a Korean biofuel company, using waste edible oil, and the marine grade C fuel oil is produced by GS Caltex.

HMM expects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 24% by using the bio-marine fuel oil, and plans to gradually expand its use, increasing the annual consumption of bio-marine fuel oil to 5%-10% of all fuels.

During the voyage on the South America route, the HMM Tacoma container ship will collect relevant data on the use of bio-marine fuel oil and provide the obtained empirical data to the relevant government agencies in Korea to contribute to the government's "development of bio-marine fuel oil for ships" initiative.

GS Caltex, whose English name is GS Caltex Corporation, belongs to the GS Holdings Group. GS Caltex was established in 1967 and is headquartered in Seoul, South Korea. It is a joint venture between LG Group and Caltex Corporation of the United States (Caltex Corporation of the United States is a subsidiary of Chevron Corporation). It is also the first private refining company in South Korea. After the restructuring of LG Group in 2005, LG Caltex was renamed GS Caltex. It is an important refining and petrochemical company in Asia and a leading company in the petroleum chemical products industry.

Lee Seunghoon, Vice President of GS Caltex, said: "This is the first production of bio-marine fuel oil by a domestic refining company in Korea and the first practical use on a ship. In the future, in order to reduce carbon emissions in the shipping industry, the company will not only supply bio-marine fuel oil to domestic shipping companies but also plans to expand the supply of bio-marine fuel oil to global shipping companies refueling in Korean territorial waters."

HMM said: "Although the price of bio-marine fuel oil is still higher than that of existing marine grade C fuel oil, in order to proactively introduce environmentally friendly fuel and achieve continuous carbon reduction, the company will continue to increase investment and become a 'green shipowner' through continuous research and development and empirical verification of carbon reduction technologies. The company will enhance its environmental competitiveness and rise to become a top global shipping company."

As early as August 2020, HMM signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on ship practical verification of "bio-heavy oil" with the Korean Bioenergy Association, Hyundai Heavy Industries, Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering, and Korean Register of Shipping (KR). Through this agreement, the parties will cooperate in establishing quality standards for bio-heavy oil, constructing a fuel supply system, conducting tests on land and on board to confirm the applicability of bio-heavy oil in ships, and promoting additional research required for the commercialization of bio-heavy oil.

In December 2021, the HMM Dream, a 13,000TEU container ship built by Hyundai Heavy Industries, departed from Busan New Port, sailed through the Pacific Ocean and the Panama Canal, and conducted more than 10 days of testing and verification on the diesel generators using bio-heavy oil, confirming the possibility of using bio-heavy oil in ships in the future.

In April of this year, HMM and GS Caltex signed a memorandum of understanding. Under the agreement, the two parties will cooperate in ensuring the demand for bio-marine fuel and stable supply, and plan to promote the practical verification of bio-marine fuel oil on ships, playing a leading role in the commercialization of bio-marine fuel oil.


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