NYK Commences First Long-Term Biofuel Test Run on VLCC Tenjun

Sun Jun 02 2024

In a groundbreaking move towards sustainable shipping, Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK) has initiated its first long-term biofuel test run on the Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) Tenjun. This significant milestone marks a pivotal step in NYK's commitment to reducing its environmental footprint and advancing green maritime practices.

The VLCC Tenjun received its initial supply of biofuel in Singapore, embarking on a three-month voyage to test the efficacy and stability of biofuel as a sustainable energy source. This trial is not just a test of the fuel itself but a comprehensive evaluation of the entire biofuel supply chain, from procurement to long-term usage.

A Pioneering Effort

NYK has a history of pioneering sustainable initiatives in the maritime industry. The company has previously conducted numerous safety trials for biofuel usage across various types of vessels, including bulk carriers, car carriers, and LPG carriers. However, the current trial with the VLCC Tenjun represents the first instance of a Very Large Crude Carrier being involved in a long-term biofuel test. This venture highlights NYK's innovative approach and dedication to environmental stewardship.

Why Biofuel?

Biofuels are derived from renewable sources such as vegetable oils, animal fats, and other organic materials. They offer a promising alternative to traditional fossil fuels, significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions and contributing to the decarbonization of the shipping industry. By leveraging biofuels, NYK aims to minimize its carbon footprint and adhere to the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) stringent environmental regulations.

The Significance of the Test Run

The three-month biofuel test run on the VLCC Tenjun is a critical phase in validating the feasibility of biofuel for long-term maritime operations. During this period, NYK will monitor various parameters, including fuel consumption efficiency, engine performance, and emission levels. The data collected will be instrumental in assessing the practicality of biofuel as a sustainable alternative for large-scale maritime transportation.

Ensuring Safety and Stability

Safety and stability are paramount in any maritime operation, and NYK is rigorously testing these aspects in its biofuel trial. The company aims to ensure that biofuel can be procured, stored, and utilized safely without compromising the vessel's performance or the safety of the crew. This comprehensive testing approach will help NYK identify and mitigate potential risks associated with long-term biofuel usage.

A Step Towards a Greener Future

NYK's long-term biofuel test run on the VLCC Tenjun is a testament to the company's proactive approach to sustainability. By exploring and adopting cleaner energy alternatives, NYK is setting a benchmark for the maritime industry. This initiative aligns with global efforts to combat climate change and promotes the transition towards a greener, more sustainable future.


The commencement of the first long-term biofuel test run on the VLCC Tenjun by NYK is a landmark event in the maritime industry. It underscores the potential of biofuels to revolutionize shipping and pave the way for more eco-friendly maritime practices. As NYK continues to lead by example, the insights gained from this trial will undoubtedly contribute to shaping a more sustainable future for global shipping.

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