The 20-day trial of advanced biofuel took place on board the Volendam in the Port of Rotterdam and achieved a decrease in lifecycle emissions compared to marine gas oil

ROTTERDAM, The Netherlands — 16 September 2022: In partnership with GoodFuels and Wärtsilä, Holland America Line completed the cruise industry’s first multiweek test of biofuels. The 20-day test was conducted onboard the Volendam in the Port of Rotterdam.

During the first five days of the test, the vessel used a mix of 30% sustainable biofuel and 70% marine gas oil (MGO) in one of its main auxiliary engines. For the second part of the test, the ship used 100% (sustainable) biofuel. During the final 15 days of the trial, we have reported a minimum of 78% decrease in lifecycle CO2 emissions compared to ‘traditional’ marine gas oil emissions. The trial and accompanying assessments were completed on 7 September.

An aerial shot of Holland America Line’s Volendam being bunkered with sustainable biofuel in the port of Rotterdam.

Drop-in biofuels for the Cruise Industry

“We were excited to have this opportunity to test a next-generation fuel resource on a Holland America Line ship, and we are very encouraged by the results,” said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line. “As part of our commitment to sustainability, we have always looked for cutting-edge solutions to environmental challenges that will help us meet Carnival Corporation’s sustainability goals over the coming decades.”

Holland America Line had selected the Dutch-flagged Volendam for the test as it was located at the Port of Rotterdam, one of the global ports where GoodFuels operate the infrastructure necessary to provide biofuel waterside fueling services. There is no significant difference for the ship’s team members in handling regular fuel oil versus biofuel. The use of “drop-in” biofuels such as the one tested on the Volendam does not require any modifications to the engine components or fuel infrastructure and enables instant decarbonisation impact.

A close-up of the Volendam during the bunkering operations.

Sustainable Marine Biofuel (SMF) for immediate decarbonisation

The sustainable marine biofuel (SMF) or ‘advanced biofuel’ that GoodFuels supplied for this trial is derived from feedstocks that are certified as 100% waste or residue, with no land-use issues and no competition with food production or deforestation.

“Marine biofuel is already the biggest low carbon marine fuel in the world and we expect usage to rise sharply to 10% of total volume by 2030,” said Dirk Kronemeijer, CEO and founder of GoodFuels

“Our extensive work in testing alternative marine fuels is a central part of our efforts to shape viable decarbonisation options for our customers,” said Ricardo Opperman, managing director of Wärtsilä North America Inc. “We are continuously developing our engine technology to accept and retain operational and environmental efficiency levels with various future fuels, including biofuels. These sea trials with 100% biofuel will be especially important — for Carnival Corporation, for Goodfuels, for Wärtsilä, and for the industry as a whole.”

Holland America Line’s Volendam during the bunkering process as seen from the shore.

About Carnival Corporation’s Corporate Sustainability Objectives

Holland America Line is the first Carnival Corporation brand to run a long-term 100% biofuel shipboard test. Carnival Corporation’s German brand AIDA also partnered with Goodfuels in July to run a blended biofuel test on board AIDAprima in Rotterdam. Previously, Carnival Corporation has thoroughly tested biofuels on large diesel testing engines at shoreside research facilities and on a few cargo ships. These recent trials represented the first live tests on working cruise ships.

The two brands’ biofuel tests support the overall environmental mission, goals and aspirations of Carnival Corporation. These include achieving a 40% reduction in carbon per available lower-berth-day by 2030; expanding its alternative fuels strategy across its liquefied natural gas (LNG) program and battery, fuel cell and biofuel capabilities; delivering a 50% reduction in absolute air emissions of particulate matter by 2030; and the aspiration to achieve net carbon neutral operations by 2050.

Also read: AIDA Cruises vessel bunkered with GoodFuels’ sustainable biofuels