Rio Tinto and bp have agreed to work together on a one-year biofuel trial to help reduce carbon emissions from Rio Tinto’s marine fleet.
nder the trial, bp is supplying Rio Tinto with marine biofuel for approximately 12 months. The fuel will be trialled on Rio Tinto’s RTM Tasman vessel on a mix of Transatlantic and Atlantic-Pacific routes, in one of the longest-duration marine biofuel trials to date.
The results of the trial will help Rio Tinto study ways to reduce its carbon emissions from its marine fleet and inform its future biofuel strategy.
Sustainable biofuels are important to help decarbonise the shipping industry in the near- and mid-term as we transition towards longer term net zero solutions
said Sven Boss-Walker, senior vice president refining & products trading, with Rio Tinto Head of Commercial Operations, Laure Baratgin, adding that “sustainable biofuels have the potential to be an important transition fuel on the way to net-zero marine emissions.”
Rio Tinto’s ambition is to reach net-zero emissions from shipping their products to customers by 2050 and to introduce net-zero carbon vessels into their portfolio by 2030.
The extended trial agreement follows a successful journey on the RTM Tasman after it refuelled with biofuel in Rotterdam in March 2022 for the first time and then picked up its first load of the trial at the Iron Ore Company of Canada’s Sept-Îles port in Quebec in April. All biofuel refuelling during the trial will be at Rotterdam.
The trial is using a bp-manufactured B30 biofuel blend composed of 30% fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) blended with very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO). This B30 biofuel blend can reduce lifecycle carbon dioxide emissions by up to 26% compared to standard marine fuel oil.
The trial will analyse a series of engine and fuel performance factors, including engine efficiency and fuel consumption, corrosion and degradation, microbial growth, temperature impact, fuel switching impacts and fuel stability.