Canadian Biomass Magazine

CSL Group marks milestone in Great Lakes biofuel program

December 12, 2023
By Canadian Manufacturing

The CSL Group, a company involved in marine transportation services, announces a milestone in its Great Lakes biofuel program.

With a cumulative 75,000 running hours on B100 biofuel over the past four years, CSL says their ships have made strides in supporting decarbonization efforts by replacing 55,000 metric tonnes of fossil fuel with biodiesel and avoiding 156,000 metric tonnes of CO2.

“Unlike other shipping companies that are just getting started with their biofuel initiatives, we have moved past the testing phase and are running biodiesel as part of our business – just one of the many ways we are reducing carbon in our operations,” said Louis Martel, CSL President and CEO.

“In 2023, our biofuel fleet set a new record by using 16,400 metric tonnes of B100 biodiesel in a single season, marking our highest consumption to date. This translates into an 80 to 90% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, leading to the avoidance of 50,000 metric tonnes of CO2 across our Great Lakes fleet.”


CSL initiated its biofuel journey in 2019 with a B50 blend, gradually progressing to B80 and, in 2020, running two ships on B100 – pure biodiesel produced entirely from waste plant material unrelated to food production. Since 2021, eight CSL vessels have run continuously on B100 for five to eight months per year.

“In 2024, eight of our Great Lakes ships will run on biofuel, and we hope to eventually extend the program across our entire Great Lakes fleet,” Mr. Martel announced. “Biofuel offers a practical and low-risk solution toward a decarbonized marine industry, but we need government support to ensure it remains affordable. CSL is proud to lead the way in showcasing the effectiveness of biofuel, and we call on governments and industry stakeholders to accelerate the adoption of sustainable practices in maritime transportation.”

Since 2019, CSL’s biofuel program has played a pivotal role in shaping industry standards. CSL’s data has been used by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and Classification Societies to advance progress on biofuel use in the maritime sector and has informed organizations like the International Council on Combustion Engines (CIMAC) and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs).

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