Vale's Green Odyssey: Maiden Biofuel Voyage

ValeImage Source: Vale


Vale, in collaboration with Oldendorff Carriers, embarks on its inaugural biofuel journey using the vessel Hinrich Oldendorff. The laden voyage from Brazil to Asia will utilize a sustainable blend of residual cooking oil and fuel oil, aligning with Vale's commitment to reducing shipping emissions. This initiative, part of the Ecoshipping program, aims to contribute an estimated 18% CO2 equivalent savings, demonstrating Vale's dedication to environmental responsibility and innovation in the mining and shipping industries.


In a pioneering move towards sustainable shipping, Vale, the global mining giant, has initiated its first-ever biofuel voyage in partnership with Oldendorff Carriers. The vessel Hinrich Oldendorff, loaded with a full cargo of iron ore, is set to traverse from Brazil to Asia, fueled by a blend of residual cooking oil and traditional fuel oil.

The voyage commenced with the Hinrich Oldendorff loading the biofuel in Singapore on October 16th during its ballast voyage to Brazil. Subsequently, the vessel loaded Vale's iron ore at Guaiba Island Terminal on October 29th, with plans to consume the blended biofuel during the laden leg from Brazil to Asia.

The biofuel onboard, labeled B24, consists of approximately 24% biodiesel produced from used cooking oil of vegetable origin (286 metric tons) and fuel oil. This product not only complies with the European Union Renewable Energy Directive (EU RED) but also holds certification from the International Sustainability & Carbon Certification (ISCC). The anticipated CO2 equivalent savings for the entire well-to-wake process is estimated at around 18%, equivalent to 785 metric tons of CO2, contributing significantly to Vale's Scope 3 emission reduction goals.

This biofuel application is an integral part of the Ecoshipping program, an innovative research and development initiative by Vale's shipping division. Aligned with the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) emission reduction targets, the program focuses on testing alternative fuels and implementing energy-efficient technologies in shipping. Michelle Gonzalez, General Manager of Chartering, Long-Term Contracts, and Operations at Vale, highlighted the importance of collaborative partnerships in realizing these sustainability initiatives.

Oldendorff Carriers, a 102-year-old family-owned shipping company, has been selected for this groundbreaking biofuel voyage. Previously conducting biofuel trials on smaller vessels for shorter voyages, this marks Oldendorff's first full voyage utilizing biofuel on a Newcastlemax vessel. Patrick Hutchins, CEO of Oldendorff Carriers, expressed delight in being chosen by Vale and looks forward to further collaborations to advance sustainability goals in shipping and mining.


Vale's completion of the first biofuel voyage, in collaboration with Oldendorff Carriers, marks a significant stride towards sustainable shipping practices. The utilization of a biofuel blend underscores Vale's commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in alignment with global maritime goals. This innovative step not only contributes to environmental responsibility but also sets a precedent for the broader mining and shipping industries. As Vale continues its journey towards being a benchmark in sustainable mining, this maiden biofuel voyage serves as a testament to the company's dedication to creating value while prioritizing environmental impact.

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