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Maritime Propulsion

October 16, 2023

Wasaline RoPax to Burn Biogas Fuel on Fridays

(Photo: Wasaline)

Finnish shipping company Wasaline announced it has started operating with certified biogas one day a week from October 13, in preparation for the EU emissions trading system that will come into force next year.

The company, which operates the route connecting Vaasa, Finland and Umeå, Sweden, said it will use certified biogas aboard its ro-pax vessel Aurora Botnia for all Friday departures through December 22 as part of its “Green Fridays” pilot project.

Biogas is more expensive than liquefied natural gas (LNG), the current primary fuel Aurora Botnia, but Wasaline will cover the extra costs on behalf of its customers. Wasaline said it hopes to be able to further develop this concept in collaboration with its customers.

“Aurora Botnia is the world’s most environmentally friendly ferry today, but our efforts to reduce our climate footprint continue,” said Peter Ståhlberg, managing director at Wasaline. “This is a pilot project to measure the interest of our cargo owners and passengers, and whether it is financially viable to continue biogas purchases. We would like to thank our loyal customers who have made this unique investment in climate-neutral transport possible for the first time in the Quark.”

Having already reduced its CO2 emissions by 22% this year compared to last year, Wasaline said the use of biogas will further reduce CO2 emissions of Aurora Botnia. With four trips on Fridays, 18% of the total weekly departures will be operated with biogas, the company said.

Jacob Granqvist, vice president, maritime at Gasum, said, “This is a great initiative that we at Gasum are very happy to be a part of in our role as biogas supplier. Biogas is one of the already available concrete pathways to reducing emissions in maritime transport and travel and it’s fantastic that Wasaline is now setting on this pathway to provide lower emissions services to its customers. Our goal is to continuously increase biogas availability to our customers in the coming years.”

“The connection between Vaasa and Umeå is very important for our Nordic traffic,” said Ida Saavalainen, CEO at logistics company Ahola Group. “Sustainability and holistic environmental-effective solutions are a central part of our operations where we work actively to reduce our footprint. Our methods include real-time optimization of routes, high filling degree, energy-efficient driving, and the use of alternative fuels with lower emissions. We are pleased to reduce emissions even further with the help of biogas-powered ferry connections by Wasaline.”