Maersk and the U.S. Navy said today that they are collaborating on a R&D program that will test the use of algae-based biofuel on ships with the goal of learning more about how biofuels can be best used to diversify fuel supply and improve environmental performance. Maersk said that the tests will be conducted on the container ship Maersk Kalmar while en route from Northern Europe to India.
“The shipping industry needs to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas intensity in the coming decades. In the short term, we can gain a lot by focusing on improving fuel efficiency. In the longer term, we would like to see sustainable biofuels become a commercially available, low-carbon fuel,” said Jacob Sterling, Head of Climate and Environment at Maersk Line.
The 300 meter-long Maersk Kalmar has two key attributes that make the vessel suitable for biofuel testing. First, the vessel has a dedicated auxiliary test engine, which reduces the risks of testing. And, second, its fuels system has a special biofuel blending equipment and separate tanks.