Mobile fuel station pioneers sustainability and efficiency
Swedish company Fossil Free Marine has unveiled a groundbreaking solution that promises to reshape the landscape of marine fuelling. Its recently introduced unmanned mobile marine fuel station, featuring a patent-pending design and EU protection, takes strides towards sustainability and efficiency.
Constructed from vacuum-injected composite materials, the 24 x 4.3m (79 x 14ft) unmanned station prioritises eco-friendly engineering. Its advanced materials not only enhance durability but also align with the industry’s commitment to minimising environmental impact. Recent findings on sustainable drop-in fuels emphasise the importance of such eco-conscious practices in the maritime sector. The station’s ability to refuel up to four 40ft (12m) boats simultaneously introduces a new level of efficiency. Adherence to the same safety standards as unmanned land-based stations and fuel cisterns in EU water catchment areas ensures a high and consistent level of fuel safety, reinforcing the industry’s commitment to sustainable solutions. In the realm of maritime ventures, safety and reliability are non-negotiable and the station has undergone rigorous scrutiny, with its design and construction verified by DNV according to ship classification standards. This verification adds a layer of credibility, aligning with industry-wide recognition of the need for sustainable practices. Future-proofing for fuels What sets this unmanned marine fuel station apart is its forward-thinking approach. Designed to adapt to the ever-changing fuel landscape, it has the capacity to handle a spectrum of liquid fuels. From modern drop-in biofuels to the promise of future e-fuels like methanol, the concept has been created to remain relevant and efficient in an industry characterised by innovation. Recent findings from ICOMIA’s study, ”Propelling our Future” (see p.27) further underline the significance of sustainable drop-in fuels. The study identifies these fuels as the optimal solution for decarbonisation in most pleasure boat applications and use cases, emphasising their superior ”cradle to grave” life cycle assessment. Fossil Free Marine’s commitment to sustainability aligns with the industry’s acknowledgment of sustainable drop-in fuels as a crucial element in the journey towards environmental responsibility. Measuring up at an impressive 60m³ (2,120ft³), the unmanned station boasts six tanks, providing a versatile solution for various liquid fuels. This capacity not only caters to current fuelling needs but also anticipates the evolving landscape of alternative fuels. Approved for delivery by leading sustainable fuel producers like Neste and Preem, the station positions itself at the forefront of the industry’s shift towards cleaner energy sources. For marina operators seeking a reliable, sustainable and future-ready solution, the station emerges as a strategic investment. Its compatibility with a range of fuels positions marinas at the forefront of environmental responsibility, meeting the demands of a market increasingly inclined towards sustainable practices. As an option, also available as a retrofit, the marine fuel station can be equipped with up to two modern odour-free grey/black water pump-out stations and a 7.5 m (25ft) extension kit for electric boat charging, enabling two electric boats to fast charge simultaneously without disrupting traffic to the fuel pumps. Built-to-order, stations are constructed at a leading Swedish composite shipyard, which also supplies the Swedish Navy – thus meeting military standards for quality and construction. Down the line, Fossil Free Marine stations will be shipped as ready to assemble kits, “IKEA style”, for local assembly in key global markets, such as the USA. The unmanned advantage Beyond its eco-friendly credentials and adaptability, the unmanned nature of the station introduces a new era of efficiency. Automated processes streamline fuelling operations, reducing the need for manpower and potential human error. This not only enhances safety but also contributes to cost-effectiveness and operational efficiency for marina operators. Designed with a user-friendly experience in mind, the station’s modern fuel dispensers with card readers and app control and short convenient hoses aim to streamline the refuelling process for vessel operators. The automated systems not only ensure efficiency but also make fuelling a seamless process for boaters, emphasising practicality and convenience in maritime operations. Beyond its environmental and operational advantages, the station also presents economic benefits for marina operators. The reduced need for manpower and streamlined processes contribute to cost savings, together with a low Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) due to a service life of up to 50 years, making it an economically viable choice for those looking to invest in sustainable solutions without compromising on efficiency. The first Fossil Free Marine unmanned mobile marine station has now been in operation for well over a year in a busy marina just outside Stockholm. Operated by leading Swedish fuel retailer OKQ8 (part owned by Kuwait Petroleum), it has quickly become an iconic installation and talking point among local boaters. Looking ahead The Fossil Free Marine solution reflects advancements in technology and materials and aligns with the maritime sector’s broader goals. As the industry navigates the complexities of alternative fuels and environmental responsibility, the unmanned station stands as a tangible example of progress. As such, it is not just a product but a symbol of collaborative progress. Approved for delivery by key players in the sustainable fuel market, it exemplifies a shared vision for a cleaner, more sustainable maritime industry. As the industry navigates towards a low-carbon future, such collaborations become crucial for achieving collective environmental goals. www.fossilfreemarine.com