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Speaking at the Argus Biofuels Europe Conference in London, Valerie Ahrens, Senior Director – New Fuels and Carbon Markets, said Bunker Holding expects that 20% of the shipping industry’s fuel mix will be new fuels in 2030.

This prediction is broadly in line with most industry forecasts, but Ahrens added that Bunker Holding is ‘more bullish on methanol’ compared to others, including the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Ahrens added that Bunker Holding also believes ‘biofuels will play a key role in reaching the targets for 2030’ – which went down favourably with the many biofuels producers in the audience. Furthermore, Ahrens felt that biofuels will continue to play an important role in shipping’s energy transition beyond 2030 – as ships running on biofuel will remain in the fleet and the new vessels built to operate on ammonia and methanol will use biofuel as a pilot fuel.

While the take-up of biofuel in the marine industry has so far mostly been seen in the major hubs and, in particular, in regions where government-backed subsidies are available, Ahrens said that Bunker Holding is looking to support its customers’ global energy transition ambitions by nurturing the supply of biofuels ‘beyond the flow ports’.

The Argus Biofuels Europe Conference also hosted a discussion panel in which Muhammad Ilyas, Head of Green Fuels at Hapag-Lloyd, and Rustin Edwards, Head of Fuel Oil Procurement at Euronav, explained how their respective companies have been trialing the use of marine biofuel blends and the bunker broker Karl Shrowder explained how Nautical Supply International have been advising their customers on preparing for alternative fuels and the onset of the European Union’s Emissions Trading System (EU ETS).

The panelists also addressed one of the key concerns that the maritime community has about biofuels: will there be sufficient availability, and how will shipping compete with the other industries that want access to these fuels and will be prepared to pay to dollar for them? Ilyas Muhammad suggested that biofuel producers should aim to operate ‘multi-product’ refineries which produce a range of fuels for different markets – including ‘non-Gucci’ [i.e. cheaper and non-premium] fuel for the shipping industry.

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