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DHL Freight Pilot Shows Biofuel’s Potential

Since DHL Freight started piloting a Bio-LNG solution (Bio-Liquefied Natural Gas from sustainable biomass) with Shell in June on three trucks to sustainably reduce CO2 emissions in road freight transport for DHL’s customer Grundfos, it has eliminated 87 tons of carbon output.

This corresponds to the emissions of more than 89,900 kilometers driven by a diesel fuel truck and represents 85 percent CO2 savings compared to a traditional diesel engine, according to DHL.

“The logistics industry is currently responsible for 11 percent of global carbon emissions,” Uwe Brinks, CEO of DHL Freight, said. “To fight against climate change, the transport sector needs true decarbonization. For us at DHL Freight, sustainable fuel solutions are a key lever to change the fuel mix and ultimately reduce carbon emissions in road freight. By investing not only in sustainable fuel, but also in fleet renewal, engine retrofitting and efficiency projects, we tackle the impact of the logistics supply chain. We are happy to have partners at our side who share our vision and join us on the journey towards a sustainable future.”

The fuel alternative is being implemented to improve Grundfos’ linehaul between its production sites in Bjerringbro, Denmark, and Longeville-Les-Saint-Avold, France. By offering the option of using greener alternatives, the company is taking another step toward cleaner road freight, in line with DHL Group’s sustainability roadmap 2030.

“Our commitment and ambitions for sustainability are fully anchored across our value chain, and in close collaboration with our suppliers and logistics partners,” said Stéphane Simonetta, group executive vice president and chief operating officer at Grundfos. “Working in unison, we achieve our sustainability targets, achieving a 50 percent CO2 emissions reduction by 2025. We therefore see the sustainable fuel solutions proposed by DHL Freight as a significant step in the right direction for lowering carbon emissions in road freight.”

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The Bio-LNG used by Shell in the test is produced from agricultural waste. It meets the criteria of the Renewable Energy Directive 2 of the European Union (EU) and is a product of a sustainable circular economy. The pilot project will continue for approximately one year.

“Running pilots like this with customers like DHL is a fantastic opportunity for both of us to test and learn, but also to jointly drive the decarbonization of the sector, as it proves that new concepts work and deliver positive impact on climate targets in a commercially viable way,” Fabian Ziegler, managing director of Shell Germany, said. “The pilot results indicate that Bio-LNG can already today reduce CO2 emissions to contribute to the GHG reductions needed to reach the EU’s 2030 climate targets. That is very promising and good news to the sector.”

In the meantime, Shell is scaling up the supply of Bio-LNG to offer further emission reductions to carbon neutrality. As of early 2022, Shell will offer a blend of Bio-LNG to the entire network in the Netherlands, offering further carbon reduction to all customers.

By 2023 Shell plans to offer Bio-LNG produced in a new gas liquefaction plant at Shell’s Energy and Chemicals Park Rheinland to the entire network in Germany. The company will start construction of liquefaction plant later this year. The volume of 100,000 tons per year from Rheinland could help to reduce the carbon emissions caused by long-distance haulage by up to a million tons, the company said.

Post DHL Group wants to invest 7 billion euros ($7.9 billion) in climate-neutral logistics solutions, and at least 30 percent of fuel requirements in aviation and line haul are to be covered by sustainable fuels, according to its recently published sustainability roadmap. DHL Group considers biofuels decisive to decarbonize transport right now and expects hydrogen as a power-based sustainable fuel to be a promising alternative in the longer term.

CMA CGM Group, one of the world’s largest shipping and logistics companies, and Engie, which provides renewables and energy solutions, on Monday committed to working together to advance the sector’s energy transition by championing industrial-scale production and distribution of synthetic methane and BioLNG.

The partnership between CMA CGM and Engie will facilitate sharing of both groups’ knowledge and research and development, notably in key technologies such as carbon capture and green hydrogen production. The partnership also covers the analysis of future regulations, as well as efforts to raise awareness of the benefits of BioLNG and synthetic methane for the decarbonization of the shipping industry.