In the Commercial Marine Network’s first webinar in a new, free to attend five Webinar series, industry experts have begun the process of steering a course to decarbonising workboat operations.

Delegates and Chairman in the round table discussion stage

Delegates and Chairman in the round table discussion stage

Following introductions from Kerrie Forster of the Workboat Association and Andy Page of Chartwell Marine, Jonathan Williams of Marine South East began with an overview of novel fuels and where we are on the timeline of these important developments entering more regular usage.

Over 300 delegates were signed up for the event, and the questions started coming in thick and fast. There is quite a range of feedstocks available for synthetically producing such fuels, from waste plastic used to produce PLAXX fuel to waste organic matter used to produce Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO).

When Martin Jackson, of MAN high speed diesel importers PME came on though, it was clear that not all of these fuels will be certified for use in new engines. Martin was also useful to listen to on the subject of just how ‘Drop in’ these novel fuels are. MAN is some way along a long road of testing a range of green fuels, and while some are fine for use in modern engines, it is telling that MAN do want to know what fuel customers are planning to use, so they can tweak the specifications of certain filters, lines etc. accordingly. It came up in the questions and answers that two major marine diesel engine manufacturers will not currently warranty engines running on biodiesels so careful research is still required for any early adopters in this growing area.

Banging the drum for HVO, was Mark Clouter from WP Group, a UK fuel distributor. He was able to provide some real world answers on the many practical questions that the audience had concerning availability, cost, tank life and cold weather performance of HVO.

Our next instalment of this popular webinar series, on the 8th December 2020 at 10.00 UTC will look a little further down the road to achieving the UK Clean Maritime plan 2050: Re-engining & re-fitting the fleet; improved technologies for engine efficiency to decrease emissions including Tier III diesel.

Register here for session 2.

If you missed the presentations or would like to revisit aspects in your own time, here is the full video of the Webinar session 1.

By Jake Frith