The Swedish shipping company Furetank has signed a letter of intent with Eskilstuna Biogas, enabling the development of a new biogas plant producing around 5,000 tonnes of liquefied biogas (LBG) annually.
Furetank has committed to buying at least 75% of the produced fuel for 10 years. The gas will be extracted from manure and food waste from the municipalities of Eskilstuna and Strängnäs. It is upgraded to a 100% waste-based, fossil-free and renewable biofuel, LBG.
“Liquefied biogas is one of the keys to fossil-free shipping – but lack of supply is a major issue,” the shipping company stated in a release.
Furetank’s latest series of ships have been running on LNG, but will be able to switch to LBG soon.
“It feels fantastic to access liquefied biogas in Sweden. With LBG produced in the right way, we can run our vessels completely without emitting CO2 or harmful particles. This is a strategic move. We developed the new efficient vessels, chose gas as a fuel and offset remaining emissions. Now we move on to securing our own supply of LBG,” said Furetank’s CEO Lars Höglund.
The biogas plant will be the largest environmental investment in Eskilstuna in 20 years and corresponds to almost 10% of the municipality’s total greenhouse gas emissions, according to Kaj Wågdahl, Eskilstuna Biogas chairman of the board.
The project has received approximately SEK140m ($15m) in grants from the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency’s support for climate investments. An agreement with a large customer was a requirement to obtain financing. Production at the plant is planned to start in the last quarter of 2023.
“We became the first shipping company in Sweden and second in the world to bunker LBG in 2018. For us it was a statement; we want to head in this direction. Now we have a clear plan for the transition and are negotiating more contracts in Sweden and other European locations. It feels incredibly good. The whole organization enjoys being involved in pushing this development forward and showing that it is possible,” Höglund said.
Furetank, based on Donsö in the Gothenburg archipelago, is a Swedish, family-owned shipping company active in tanker shipping since the early 1950s. Furetank operates nine owned vessels and is a founding member of the Gothia Tanker Alliance: a market platform for small and intermediate product tankers, operating 40 vessels in European waters.