8 June 2016 13.00

 

Flotta Verde.jpg 

The Green Fleet (Flotta Verde) Project of the Italian Navy, a concrete initiative focused on environmental issues, takes another major step forward in the process of promoting widespread use of biofuels, in collaboration with the US Navy's Great Green Fleet.

The Italian Navy is the first and only European Naval Service to launch a test programme on the use of biodiesel in the maritime sector, and cooperates with the US Navy to develop and promote biofuels, under an agreement signed in 2014 for joint research and use of alternative fuels.

By virtue of this agreement, in the next few days, a naval exercise will be conducted, involving ships from the Italian Navy alongside the US Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group - the Great Green Fleet – which will be partially fuelled by a synthetic biodiesel (Green Diesel) produced in Italy.

Green Diesel is a marine fuel containing up to 50% synthetic component derived from renewable sources, in accordance with strict NATO specifications. The synthetic component (HRF-76, Hydrogenated Renewable Fuel) is produced at the Porto Marghera bio-refinery, utilising EcofiningTM technology. Renewable diesel possesses physical and chemical properties similar to conventional diesel - being non hygroscopic and highly stable - unlike other biodiesel fuels.

The Italian Navy has successfully tested Green Diesel, for the first time in January 2014 on offshore patrol vessel FOSCARI – first European ship – with no need for engine modifications, and later, in 2015, on other units and submarines (DUILIO, CAVOUR, GAZZANA and MAESTRALE). The same fuel was utilised during two major anti-pollution exercises conducted by ITN patrol vessels, in 2014 and 2015.

On May 25, onboard ITS ETNA synthetic fuel was blended with fossil fuel to obtain Green Diesel to be used during the scheduled exercise with the US Navy: indeed, on June 16, a replenishment at sea will be executed in Central Mediterranean, with Green Diesel delivery.

The Green Fleet Project lays the basis for a widespread use of fuels derived from renewable non-edible sources, parallel to and not competing with the food market.

A reduced dependence on oil - as a consequence of widespread use of Green Diesel - could cut by up to 26% the ships' global CO2 and air pollutant emissions, in line with Italy's and EU commitment to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

Green Fleet not only means using biofuel. It also encompasses the adoption of procedures, approaches and systems - including LED-based lighting onboard units, alternative hull paints, energy-efficient propulsion methods, propeller cleaning - which will enable to reduce consumptions and save hundreds of tons of fuel every year.

For more information about the Green Fleet, see our website. Follow Flotta Verde and Great Green Fleet on our social media channels: #FlottaVerde and #GreatGreenFleet.