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Hoegh Autoliners Operates its First Carbon Neutral Voyage with Biofuel

Hoegh completes its first carbon neutral voyage
Hoegh Trigger operated the carbon eutral voyage (Jose Luis Diaz Campa photo courtesy of Hoegh Autoliners)

Published Mar 23, 2021 3:48 PM by The Maritime Executive

Hoegh Autoliners is the latest shipping company to report the completion of its first carbon neutral voyage. Using a combination of biofuel and carbon offsets, one of the company’s large car carriers completed the voyage from Europe to South Africa as part of its route to Australia. 

The company reports that the successful trial demonstrated that biofuel is a viable choice for vessels in the fleet. Using advanced biofuels to run existing fleets Hoegh says has a strong potential to significantly reduce emissions today, while new ship technologies evolve.

The voyage was undertaken by the Hoegh Trigger, one of six post-Panamax vessels built for the company at the Xiamen Shipbuilding Industries in China. Having entered service in 2015, the 22,088 dwt Hoegh Trigger at the time was reported to be the world’s largest Pure Car and Truck Carrier (PCTC). The 652-foot-long vessel has almost 77,000 square feet of deck space giving it a capacity of 8,500 cars.

The Hoegh Trigger departed Germany on February 20. The car carrier made stops in Belgium, England, and Spain before traveling on to Durban where she arrived on March 19.

“The success of this trial voyage demonstrates that with the use of alternative fuels like biofuel, we can contribute to significant steps towards decarbonization in the maritime transportation industry. Our company and customers have high ambitions to combat climate change, and we are committed to delivering on that,” says Andreas Enger, CEO at Hoegh Autoliners.

GoodFuels’ biofuel was chosen for the test run as it’s virtually free of sulfur oxides and reduces the vessel’s carbon emissions by up to 90 percent. The remaining emissions generated were offset through certificates from Gold Standard, to make the voyage truly carbon neutral.

Hoegh Autoliners operates some of the greenest and largest PCTC vessels in the world. The New?Horizon class of vessels, including the Hoegh Trigger, were designed to minimize impact on the environment. The vessels are equipped with the latest fuel-saving technologies, reducing CO2 emissions per car equivalent unit by 50 percent compared with standard car carriers.

Other shipping companies have also reported similar success in their use or trial of marine biofuel supplied by GoodFuels. Stena Bulk ran trials in 2020 and then announced that it would be operating with biofuels were possible while MSC said it would begin using an element of biofuels on its ships sailing from Rotterdam.  Volkswagen also switched to biofuels to operate its chartered ro-ro vessels while both ONE and Eastern Pacific recently completed successful test voyages each operating one of their large vessels on biofuel.