Canadian Biomass Magazine

Holland America Line begins pilot test of renewable fuels on its flagship vessel Rotterdam

May 13, 2024
By Canadian Biomass Staff

A major cruise ship operator has started a long-term biofuel test.

Holland America Line is running the test on its flagship vessel, Rotterdam, using what it called “100 per cent low carbon intensity biofuel” while sailing within the Norwegian World Heritage Fjords.

The ship bunkered the biofuel before leaving the Port of Rotterdam, the Netherlands, on April 27. It will operate one of its four engines using low carbon intensity oil derived from organic waste or residues and certified according to the EU Renewable Energy Directive while in the Fjords.

The GoodFuels MR1-100 sustainable biofuel supplied by FincoEnergies will yield an estimated 86 per cent reduction in life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions, it said.


“Holland America Line is committed to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and we are excited to demonstrate a next-generation fuel source that can help us toward our pursuit of net zero emissions,” said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line. “Converting items such as food waste into fuel is an innovative way to meet environmental challenges and we thank the Dutch government for its support.”

The initial tests will occur on one of the ship’s four engines during cruises this month, with the potential to expand to multiple engines during the summer while operating in the Norwegian World Heritage Fjords, specifically Geirangerfjord and Nærøyfjord.

Holland America Line’s existing ships operate on biofuels without modifications to the engine or fuel structure, it said. The company continues to partner with companies to find ways to reduce emissions and develop alternative fuels and technologies, it said.

“The GoodFuels MR1-100 fits the existing practice in shipping where heavier fuels are already used today” said Johannes Schurmann, Commercial Director International Marine at FincoEnergies. “Together with our clients, we optimize sustainability and cost of the biofuel, while not jeopardizing the performance in the engine and fuel system.”

“There is a need to look at all good alternatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the future and we see biofuels as one of the alternatives that, with the right use and origin, will contribute to emission reductions, which we welcome. The Norwegian Maritime Authority takes a positive view of all measures taken by the industry to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Alf Tore, Acting Director General of Shipping and Navigation, Norwegian Maritime Authority.

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