Hopper dredger achieves biofuel operation record

Jan De Nul’s trailing suction hopper dredger, Alexander von Humboldt, has completed 2,000 hours of operation on 100% renewable, second-generation biofuel oil – the longest continuous use of this fuel type in the maritime sector.

The dredger is powered by 2 × MAN 12V32/40 and 1 × MAN 7L32/40 main engines and the biofuel oil (BFO) is supplied by GoodFuels.

Michel Deruyck, Head of the Energy Department at Jan De Nul Group, commented: ‘With our choice of this sustainable marine biofuel, we want to prove to the governments and our clients that if they have climate ambitions and incorporate these in the selection procedures, the industry is ready for it.

‘It is very important now that the right policies and regulations follow to leverage the full potential of BFO. Research into fuels of the future is useful, but it should not prevent us from using sustainable solutions already available today for the much-needed energy transition within the shipping industry.’

Patrice Mauger, Head of Region Europe at MAN Energy Solutions, also noted: ‘While our engine technology will remain the prime mover for deep-sea shipping, we have to prepare for the emergence of new fuels, such as BFO, as a supplier to the industry. As such, staying abreast of such developments is paramount to our success.

‘The passing of this notable milestone is testament to the flexibility of our engines and of great credit to Jan De Nul Group whose commitment to decarbonisation is exemplary.’

Leading up to the 2,000-hour milestone, the Alexander von Humboldt was refuelled at various stages with BFO, which reduced the vessel’s CO2 emissions by 85%. The vessel consumed the biofuel while conducting maintenance dredging works in Flemish seaports and the United Kingdom.

Lesley Bankes-Hughes

Lesley Bankes-Hughes