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Sea Machines is using renewable Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) biofuel, sourced by Bunker One in Denmark, to fuel its autonomous tugboat, Nellie Bly.

As part of The Machine Odyssey project, the vessel is currently approaching the final leg of a 1,020 nautical mile round journey, which began in Germany and included refuelling stops in Denmark.

The Nellie Bly was refuelled with biofuel at Klintholm, Hundested, Skagen and Fredericia in Denmark. By the time the vessel reaches its final destination in Hamburg, it will have used approximately 4,000 litres of biofuel, accounting for around 70% of the fuel used for the trip.

Sea Machines’ CEO Michael G. Johnson commented on the achievement: ‘Sea Machines is committed to responsible business. Whenever possible, we strive to fulfil our mission of advancing our industries with modern autonomous technology, while also limiting our impact on the natural environment.

'From sourcing green fuels to planting trees that to offset our annual carbon footprint, and other environmental-focused company activities, we are proud to claim a carbon-neutral status since 2018. We appreciate the logistics required on behalf of Bunker One to ensure we had access to biofuel in Denmark, and we look forward to continuing to prove that our waterways are primed and ready for marine autonomy – especially for long-voyage missions at sea.’

Bunker One’s CEO Peter Zachariassen added: ‘…Being able to provide the green fuel needed for the project to not only make this frog-leap forward in safer shipping technology and manoeuvring but also ensuring a much more CO2-efficient trip is something we're very proud of at Bunker One, as we see ourselves as supporting the pioneering spirits with renewable fuel.’

Sea Machines’ autonomous Nellie Bly is currently operating in Europe, but is controlled by a team of U.S. Coast Guard-licensed officers from the company’s control room in Boston – a station located more than 3,600 miles away.


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