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Tuesday, June 16, 2020 

The vessel ‘Viikki’, owned by Baltic dry bulk cargo carrier ESL Shipping, has been fuelled in Raahe, Finland with 100% renewable liquefied biogas (LBG) to transport iron ore for the Swedish steel company SSAB.

The company says this marks the first time that 100% renewable LBG has been used in maritime transport in Finland, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by up to 85% compared to fossil fuels. The biogas was supplied by Nordic gas company Gasum. 

Mikki Koskinen, MD ESL Shipping said: “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% 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.”

According to ESL Shipping, wider deployment of biogas has been delayed by the relatively limited availability. 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 which aims to be the first steel company to bring fossil-free steel to the market by 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,” said Harri Leppänen, Director, Environment and Safety at SSAB.

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

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