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Spanish energy company Cepsa is operating what it claims to be Europe’s first hybrid electric-diesel bunker barge.

As previously reported, the vessel, which was built at Murueta shipyard in Erandio, northern Spain, was ordered by owner Mureloil in October 2020. It is currently being operated in Algeciras, Andalusia.

According to Cepsa, the hybrid barge performs with a 30% reduction in fuel consumption and a reduction of more than 35% in greenhouse gas emissions compared to a conventional barge, saving an estimated 2,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.

In addition to conventional fuels, the hybrid barge can also supply advanced biofuels.

The vessel is equipped with four generators for electric propulsion, in addition to a battery system for auxiliary services in port. It also has a specific and optimised design which Cepsa says makes it more manoeuvrable and efficient. The cargo capacity of 7,800 cubic metres (cbm), distributed in 12 tanks, will reduce the vessel's rotation, which translates into lower consumption.

The vessel also incorporates state-of-the-art engines, which will use Cepsa lubricants, and, as a new feature, all cargo lines will be equipped with mass flow meters (MFM) technology.

‘We are delighted to have delivered this innovative project – the first of its kind in Europe. Cepsa, with over 90 years’ experience in the marine sector, has always been a pioneer in sectoral changes,’ said  Samir Fernández, Cepsa’s director of bunker fuels.

‘Now, as the shipping industry needs to take rapid action to meet the FuelEU Maritime emission reduction targets, at Cepsa we continue to try and lead by example and push industries to transform faster for a sustainable future. This is another example of the strong progress we are making with Positive Motion as we adapt to offer green solutions to our customers and Europe’s ports and work towards the decarbonisation of maritime transportation.

‘Cepsa continues to push the biofuels agenda among our customers, generating commitment and trust, so that we can be the sustainable marine solutions provider of choice.’

Related: EUROPE: Cepsa and Port of Rotterdam to establish green hydrogen corridor between Netherlands and Spain

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