Belgium''s Jan De Nul has equipped its trailing suction hopper dredger ''Alexander von Humboldt'' to sail on 100% renewable biofuel from certified and sustainable waste streams.

The dredger Alexander von Humboldt has been equipped to sail on 100% renewable biofuel

As part of its ambitious CO2 reduction objectives, Jan De Nul also wants to collaborate with the Flemish government to introduce a minimal Co2 reduction obligation of 15% for 80% of maintenance dredging contracts in Flanders by 2022 at the latest.

By 2050 the European Union wants to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases by 80% to 95% compared to 1990, with at least 40% of the reduction be realised by 2030.

"Why wait until tomorrow when it's already possible today?", said Bart Praet, head of Jan De Nul's Dredging Benelux department. " this intervention makes us at least 80% CO2 neutral. With this we want to prove to governments and to our clients in the Benelux that if they have climate ambitions and incorporate these in the selection procedures, the market is ready for it now. At the same time, we are urging our colleagues in the sector to follow our example in a renewable and climate-neutral trajectory. We are continuing to work hard on our energy transition, relting on innovative solutions."

Freddy Aerts, head of the Maritime Access division at the government's Department of Mobility and Public Works responded: "The Flemish government is glad about the use of this renewable fuel and will definitely include a sustainability criterion for the procurement of the dredging contract for the evaluation of offers."

The Alexander von Humboldt will carry out maintenance dredging works in maritime access routes on the North sea and in Flemish seaports using the second generation of biofuel, supplied by market leader GoodFuels, which reduces CO2 emissions by at least 80% and is also sulphur-free. GoodFuels pioneered in the development, commercialisation and supply of renewable fuel in the shipping industry. Jan De Nul Group entered into a multi-year agreement with them because of their innovative technology and verifiable sustainability guarantees.

"Our energy transition can start today", said Michel Deruyck, head of Jan De Nul's Energy Department. "As we are in continuous consultation with engine manufacturers and other suppliers, we know what is technically feasible. We continue to innovate to remain sustainable and viable in our sector, and to be able to offer our clients alternatives."

By Larz Bourne