UECC is working with industry partners to evaluate the suitability of a biofuel made from cashew nut shell liquid (CNSL) that can be used as a fuel oil for marine transport. The provider of short-sea forwarding services is looking to provide more sustainable transport for the movement of finished vehicle volumes.

Developed by biofuel supplier Act Group and called DSI.100, the sustainable fuel has secured approval from engine manufacturers as a 30% blend component for distillate marine fuels, to be tested in vessels at sea. Distillate marine fuels have very low sulphur content compared to heavy marine oils.

UECC vessel

Along with Act Group, UECC is also working with Lloyd’s Register, which provides a fuel oil bunker analysis advisory service (Fobas), as well as ship engine manufacturer Wartsila.

UECC said that the FSI.100 biofuel aligns with maritime sectors efforts to establish a circular economy and is provided through a “a certified sustainable, fully controlled supply chain that ensures traceability and accountability from the point of origin to extraction, conversion, and consumption”. The company also said the biofuel delivers significant ‘well-to-wake’ emissions reductions of 90% compared to conventional maritime fuels. 

“In our decarbonisation journey, it’s essential to leave no stone unturned,” said Daniel Gent, UECC’s energy and sustainability manager. “UECC is proud to lead the industry in not only implementing creative solutions but also establishing a blueprint for the critical assessment of future fuels such as CNSL-based FSI.100, which holds great potential for sustainable shipping.”

Fabio Scaramelli, head of the biofuels supply and trading division at Act Group, said: “As innovators in maritime sustainability, our partnership with UECC, LR Fobas, and Wartsila represents a significant step forward in advancing CNSL-based biofuels. The development of FSI.100 highlights our dedication to creating transformative resources for the sector’s decarbonisation journey.”

UECC said it recommended “precautionary measures in bunker procurement, ensuring clarity on blend components and adherence to established biograde fuel standards”. The short-sea operator added that where there are no established standards, companies need to take a phased assessment of the suitability of the products used to power vessels and gain acceptance for sea trials from relevant parties, including OEMs.

In another collaborative effort toward supporting a more sustainable maritime transport sector, last year UECC adopted a methodology for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions accounting developed by the Association of European Vehicle Logistics (ECG) and Smart Freight Centre

The Ro-Ro GHG Emissions Accounting Guidance is a standard for reporting of shipment emissions, transport activity and carbon intensities from multimodal transport operators to cargo owners and is intended to create a harmonised and transparent methodology for calculation and reporting of logistics GHG emissions for the ro-ro industry, according to UECC.

The vessel operator is also expanding European vehicle-forwarding services using its three LNG dual-fuel powered vessels.