Trio join forces on biogas test

ESL Shipping’s new LNG-fuelled vessel, Viikki, is piloting the use of liquefied biogas.

Last year the SSAB Rahe steel plant and ESL Shipping worked together on reducing CO2 emissions in the transport chain, with the Viikki and Haaga carrying SSAB’s raw materials between Luleå, Oxelösund and Raahe,

Now, in a test that began on 11 June, Viikki was fuelled with LNG and a tanker load of liquefied biogas which was supplied by the Gasum terminal in Pori, Finland.

‘With this test, we aim to find out whether biogas could be used in small amounts for maritime transport to reduce emissions,’ explained Harri Leppänen, Head of Environment, Health & Safety at SSAB.

‘The methane in biogas originates from biogenic material and so does not contain any fossil coal.  This means the amount of biogas used in the test could further reduce the fossil carbon dioxide emissions originating in this transport chain by between 25% and 28%.

Jacob Granqvist, Sales Director – maritime, Gasum, added: ‘The test with ESL and SSAB is in line with our strategy to bring cleaner fuels to our customers. We are all the time increasing our biogas production and sourcing to meet growing demand of our customers.

‘We are already in discussions with ESL about running vessels Viikki and Haaga on 100% LBG.’

SSAB is looking to be the first company to introduce fossil-free steel into the market – as early as 2026. It is also aiming to be completely fossil free as a business by 2045.

To achieve these targets, SSAB together with LKAB and Vattenfall has launched the HYBRIT initiative to eliminate fossil carbon dioxide emissions across the entire steel manufacturing value chain from mines to finished steel products. ‘However, for operations to be entirely fossil free, it is also necessary to strive to eliminate fossil fuels from shipping,’ noted Leppänen

Lesley Bankes-Hughes

Lesley Bankes-Hughes