Technology group Wärtsilä has signed a strategic partnership agreement for Decarbonisation Modelling with Raízen, a major Brazilian energy company. The agreement focuses on both newbuilding and existing operation upgrade plans. Its aim is to build and implement a fleet-wide decarbonisation plan with a particular interest in the future marine introduction of ethanol as a marine fuel.

Wärtsilä, under its fleet decarbonisation programme, has a strong track record in bringing new sustainable solutions to the market. In particular, by increasing engine efficiency and developing the capability to operate with alternative clean fuels, the company has established a leading position in supporting the industry’s greenhouse gas (GHG) elimination ambitions.

The agreement is designed to boost Raízen’s efforts to deliver end-to-end low-carbon solutions to its worldwide customers and is in line with the company’s goal to lead the global energy transition by offering scalable and sustainable solutions to the market. Wärtsilä will support Raízen by performing technology testing with ethanol as a fuel in one of its Sustainable Fuels laboratory engines. In addition, the agreement includes joint efforts in deploying the identified Decarbonisation Solutions to involved ship designers and shipowners, as well as providing advice regarding regulations and compliance requirements for the use of cellulosic ethanol as fuel.

“Ethanol is a promising marine fuel that is readily available now,” said Paulo Neves, Vice President of Trading at Raízen. “By working with Wärtsilä, we hope to support the marine sector global decarbonisation efforts, with ethanol being a viable contributor towards a portfolio of low-carbon solutions for this sector.”

“At Wärtsilä, we are investing heavily in the development of technologies, engines and solutions aimed for low and zero carbon marine fuels. This agreement with Raízen, a company committed to supporting the sector’s decarbonisation, is yet another example of how we seek ways to enable the journey towards a decarbonised future,” commented Stefan Nysjö, Vice President, Power Supply, Wärtsilä Marine Power.

Initial studies by Raízen have determined that by replacing fossil fuels with ethanol on a standard route from Brazil to Europe, CO2 emissions can be reduced by up to 80 percent. Ethanol is considered a potentially viable solution to help decarbonise the sector, since it provides greater flexibility and optionality as the industry moves toward a combination of lower-emission fuel options.