French cruise ship Le Champlain is set to become the first vessel in France to run on biofuel produced from recycled cooking oil. The ship has taken on biodiesel B100, which is 100% produced from recycled cooking oil, during a technical stop in Cherbourg in September. The fuel trial is being carried out in collaboration with supplier Altens. The first bunkering will be accompanied by tests to ensure that NOx emissions remain compliant. Le Champlain is fitted with Wartsila diesel engines, and the biodiesel is compatible as a drop-in fuel. Its CO2 emissions are 90% lower than fossil fuels, exceeding European requirements for 2035.
Mathieu Petiteau, R&D director at Ponant, said that the biofuel test is part of the company’s roadmap to reduce its carbon footprint. He highlighted that biofuels produced from used cooking oils have a significantly lower carbon footprint compared to conventional fuels. He also emphasized that these biofuels can be directly incorporated into engines and are readily available. The aim of the trial is to demonstrate that biofuel is a credible alternative for decarbonizing the maritime industry as a whole.
This sustainable marine fuel trial on Le Champlain is a significant step towards reducing the environmental impact of the cruise ship industry. By using biofuel produced from recycled cooking oil, the ship’s CO2 emissions are substantially lower compared to traditional fossil fuels. The fact that the biodiesel is compatible with the ship’s engines as a drop-in fuel makes the transition to biofuel easier and more feasible. If successful, this trial could pave the way for more cruise ships and other vessels to adopt biofuels as a sustainable alternative.