Wasaline to pilot biogas-powered-only ferry operations each Friday
The biogas is supplied by Nordic energy company Gasum.
Biogas is more expensive than LNG (liquefied natural gas), the current primary fuel of M/S Aurora Botnia, but the company said it will cover the extra costs on behalf of its customers.
With certified biogas, all Friday departures until Christmas will be climate-neutral. With four trips on Fridays, 18% of the total weekly departures will be operated with biogas, according to the company.
"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 Quarken."
Wasaline said it has already reduced its CO2 emissions by 22% this year compared to last year, with the use of biogas further reducing CO2 emissions of Aurora Botnia.
“This is a great initiative that we at Gasum are very happy to be a part of in our role as biogas supplier." said Jacob Granqvist, vice president, maritime at Gasum. "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.”
More environmentally friendly transportation methods are especially important for cargo, said Wasaline. The logistics company Ahola Group and Wasaline have built up a long-term collaboration over the years.
"The connection between Vaasa and Umeå is very important for our Nordic traffic," says Ida Saavalainen, CEO at 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 optimisation 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."
The “Green Fridays” pilot project will continue until Christmas.
Wasaline concluded it hopes to be able to further develop this concept in collaboration with its customers.