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ESL Shipping first in Finland to use 100% renewable liquefied biogas


June 16, 2020
By ESL Shipping

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ESL Shipping, the leading carrier of dry bulk cargoes in the Baltic region, recently announced that its vessel m/s Viikki was fueled in Raahe, Finland with 100 per cent renewable liquefied biogas (LBG) to transport iron ore for the Swedish steel company SSAB. This marks the first time when 100 per cent renewable LBG is used in maritime transport in Finland. LBG reduces greenhouse gas emissions by up to 85 per cent compared to fossil fuels. The biogas was supplied by Nordic gas sector and energy market expert Gasum.

“This marks another milestone in our long continuum of sustainability-related investments and actions of recent years. ESL Shipping is committed to reducing emissions, and we believe that the ambitious targets set by our industry, 50 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050, can only be reached by using a wide range of alternative fuels. We have been doing long-term environmental work together with SSAB for years and now we are taking a new, significant step towards fossil-free maritime transport,” said Mikki Koskinen, managing director of ESL Shipping.

The wider deployment of biogas has been delayed by the relatively limited availability of biogas. There is also the cost factor to consider but nowadays more and more companies are seeing the value of reducing emissions throughout their supply chains. One of the forerunners is SSAB who aims to bring fossil-free steel to the market as the world’s first steel company as early as 2026. The entire company’s operations are scheduled to be fossil-free by 2045.

“Completely fossil-free operations require that fossil fuels have also been removed from transportation,” noted Harri Leppänen, director, environment and safety at SSAB.

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ESL Shipping has made significant investments to improve the energy efficiency and eco-friendliness of its fleet. The LNG-fueled newbuilding m/s Viikki and its sister vessel Haaga, both delivered in 2018, are the eco-friendliest dry bulk cargo vessels in the world.