The Coastal Sustainability Alliance (CSA), an industry collaborative effort led by Kuok Maritime Group (KMG), has on Tuesday announced its plans to advance the maritime biofuel ecosystem in Singapore with up to SGD 10 million ($7.33 million) in investments.

This partnership will be spearheaded by two of its Alliance members – Green COP and Ken Energy – which formalized a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Tuesday, the trio said in a statement.

According to the statement, over the next two years, the CSA aims to develop stable B30, B40 and B50 biofuel blends and achieve production and commercial adoption of up to 50 percent (B50), derived from 50 percent agri-waste to Biobutanol – a blend poised to significantly reduce carbon emissions in maritime operations.

This process includes biofuel certification, commencing sea trials, building a production plant by 2025, and launching commercial-scale production by 2026.

An initial SGD 500,000 ($366,444) angel investment has been secured for establishing a pilot plant for processing agri-waste, and over SGD 10 million ($7.33 million) is expected to be invested in scaling production capabilities.

These efforts in decarbonizing the maritime sector will contribute to the CSA’s efforts to build the next generation of Singapore’s coastal ecosystem and are timely to address the potential surge in demand for sustainable biofuels, said the statement.

“The formation of biofuel ecosystem under the Coastal Sustainability Alliance demonstrates our commitment to foster partnerships and deliver innovative sustainable maritime solutions for our conventional fleet owners as they progressively switch to lower emissions vessels,” said Tan Thai Yong, Managing Director, Strategic Projects and Technology, Kuok Maritime Group and Chairperson, CSA Council.

“In bringing together Green COP and Ken Energy, we are laying the groundwork for a new biofuel supply chain and providing a viable alternative in the energy transition for the maritime sector,

“This initiative is more than an advancement in fuel technology as it exemplifies the power of collaboration, underscoring the CSA’s role as a steward and catalyst for positive change in the maritime industry,” he added.

According to the statement, the CSA is actively driving maritime biofuel development to provide a viable biofuel alternative for vessels to reduce carbon emissions.

The ecosystem will secure a ready supply of biofuel for local coastal demand and ensure the quality and stability of the biofuels with supply chain track and trace.

This initiative also seeks to bolster Singapore’s standing in the Global Biofuels Alliance over the long term by building new research and development (R&D) and innovation tracks in line with the nation’s environmental commitments.

Through this partnership, Ken Energy will play a pivotal role in strengthening the market and commercial utilization of Biobutanol in maritime operations.

This comprises vital aspects such as operational feasibility, life cycle assessment, and carbon emission reduction strategies.

The firm’s expertise and resources will be instrumental in optimizing the practical implementation of Biobutanol for a B30-B50 blend and subsequent market integration in providing B50 to its customer fleet of bunker barges and CSA members.

“We believe in the green transition that the maritime industry is embarking on. This conviction underscores our strategic collaboration with Green COP,

“Leveraging our proficiency in marine transportation logistics alongside Green COP’s commendable sustainable biofuel production, we aim to spur the industry’s widespread adoption of biofuels,” said Desmond Chong, Managing Director of Ken Energy.

It is noted that Green COP, with its proprietary technology, specializes in the efficient conversion of plant-based biowaste into sustainable biofuels through a patented pre-treatment and fermentation process.

This innovative, cost-effective approach maximizes resource utilization and minimizes waste generation, contributing to the circular economy and environmental sustainability.

“Green COP presents existing fleet owners with a coherent biofuel solution to achieve their net-zero targets in a progressive manner,” said Dr Hanson Lee, Chief Executive Officer of Green COP.

“We envision a future where Sustainable Marine Fuels (SMF), alongside coastal electrification, become the norm,

“The CSA has provided us access to market insights, industry collaborations and the necessary incubation for our growth. We look forward to working with more like-minded partners to spur biofuels research and adoption,” he added.

Earlier in March 2024, Green COP signed an MOU agreement with 3Y Energy to develop and optimize green biofuel blends for the maritime and transportation sectors.

Through this collaboration, Green COP will set up a pilot plant capable of processing a ton of biomass daily to produce sustainable fuels, while 3Y Energy will provide the innovative solutions in green fuel utilisation including biofuel blends.

According to the statement, introducing the B50 blend represents a significant advancement in reducing carbon emissions within the maritime industry.

For every metric ton (mt) of B50 fuel burned, carbon emissions are reduced to 1.5 mt, a substantial improvement over the B30 blend, which reduces carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to 2.1 mt per metric ton of fuel burned.

Additionally, the production of Biobutanol, a key component of the B50 blend, is more energy-efficient and yields a higher volume of fuel compared to traditional methods used for producing Fatty Acid Methyl Ester (FAME).

This enhances the sustainability of the fuel production process and supports the maritime sector’s transition to greener energy sources.

The statement said CSA will continue to broaden the scope of the pioneering biofuel ecosystem and seek additional collaborations from stakeholders across the maritime and energy sectors to enhance technological, adoption and logistical capabilities.

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