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Anglo American reduces emissions by 10% in sea trial using biofuel, VLSFO blend

Following its first sea trial using biofuel blended with very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO), Anglo American said it was able to reduce its carbon emissions by approximately 10%.

The trial was conducted onboard the Seanergy Maritime-owned Capesize bulk carrier Friendship, time-chartered by Japanese shipping company NYK Line and voyage-chartered by Anglo American. The biofuel blend, provided by TotalEnergies Marine Fuels, was used to power 50% of a round-trip from Singapore to Saldanha Bay in South Africa, where a cargo of Anglo American’s iron ore was loaded.

Said Peter Whitcutt, CEO of Anglo American’s marketing business: “Last year, we outlined our ambition for carbon neutral controlled ocean freight – a natural extension of our commitment to decarbonise our mining operations by 2040. This trial forms part of those efforts and will help us reduce emissions across our value chain.”

The trial used blend composed of VLSFO – the industry’s most widely used conventional marine fuel – mixed with 10% second-generation biofuel originating from used cooking oil. The use of the blend resulted in a reduction of approximately 10% in carbon emissions compared to using 100% VLSFO. A functional equivalent to existing liquid fuels, this blend is compatible with existing vessel engines and requires no infrastructure modification.

Second biofuel marine trial

This is Anglo American’s second biofuel marine trial – the first trial, conducted in June 2021, used a biodiesel blend produced by converting waste cooking oil from Singapore’s food and beverage industry and reduced carbon emissions by around 5%.

Added Whitcutt: “Our first trial demonstrated our capabilities and commitment to taking action. We have now taken those learnings and applied them to exploring how best to operationalise biofuel in a business-as-usual scenario. The transition from a distillate biofuel blend to one using VLSFO paves the way to establishing biofuel as a credible option in the future.”

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