Virgin Voyages agrees deals with sustainable fuel suppliers

Line aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050

Virgin Voyages agrees deals with sustainable fuel suppliers

Virgin Voyages has partnered with three waste-based sustainable fuel providers that deliver low carbon fuels to the marine industry.

Argent Energy, GoodFuels and Twelve will work with the cruise line as it aims to achieve carbon neutral operations by 2050.

The two-ship line has also partnered with sustainability experts Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials.

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By establishing key partnerships and building a portfolio approach to sustainable marine fuel supply, it believes it has taken “an important step” to advancing a low-carbon future.

The line pledged to add more sustainable marine fuel providers to its portfolio “over time” and added that sustainable fuels were “paramount” to reducing emissions.

Virgin Voyages estimates switching fuels can reduce carbon emissions by 75% or more.

Chief executive Tom McAlpin said: “In order to significantly reduce our carbon footprint further, we must transition to lower-carbon fuel sources as soon as possible.

“We could do this today with our existing engines if more sustainable ‘drop-in’ fuels were available in our ports of call.

“Unfortunately, these fuels are not yet widely available, and in most cases, are not cost competitive. We want to work with partners to pioneer for the essential change.”

Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, said Virgin would “always aim to be a leader” in the industries it operated in.

“We aspire to make the cruise industry better in many ways including through climate action,” he said.

“I’m proud that Virgin Voyages will be working with industry partners and others to shape the future of more sustainable cruise travel and to bring about a real sea change for all.”

Erik Reitkerk, chief executive of Argent Energy, called decarbonising the marine sector “an oceanic task”.

“Virgin Voyages’ decision to use Argent Energy as a supplier of sustainable marine fuels demonstrates the importance of waste-based biodiesel as a key strategy in that task,” he added.

Commercial manager at GoodFuels, Nikolas Nikolaidis, said Virgin Voyages’ approach demonstrated the wider cruise industry’s “willingness and readiness to structurally decarbonise its operations”.

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