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HomeMaritimeRio Tinto and BP agree to begin year-long trial on biofuel

Rio Tinto and BP agree to begin year-long trial on biofuel

Rio Tinto and BP have agreed to join together on a one-year marine biofuel trial in an effort to reduce the carbon emissions from Rio Tinto’s marine fleet. It will be one of the longest sustained trials of biofuels in the history of the maritime industry.

Other shipping companies have noticed that on individual voyages using biofuel, there have been positive results. However, the longer trial will give more insight on the actual impact biofuel can have.

“A longer-duration trial will provide important information on the potential role and wide-scale use of biofuels, and aligns with our goals to reduce marine emissions across our value chain and support efforts to decarbonize the maritime industry,” said Laure Baratgin, Head of Commercial Operations for Rio Tinto.

BP will provide the biofuel that will be used on Rio Tinto’s RTM Tasman on a combination of Transatlantic and Atlantic-Pacific routes.

The fuel being used for the trial is a a BP-manufactured B30 biofuel blend composed of 30 percent fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) blended with very low sulfur fuel oil (VLSFO). Its physical properties are similar to conventional diesel, and neither the engine nor the vessel will need to be changed in order to accommodate the biofuel.

The trial will look into 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.

The extension for the trial agreement comes after a successful journey on the RTM Tasman after it refueled 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. The refueling throughout the trial will still take place in Rotterdam.



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