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Research Vessel Aranda switching over to biofuel – heating already carried out using bio-oil made from recycled raw materials

Press release 2015-03-31 at 14:50


Photo: Juha Flinkman, SYKE

Finnish Environment Institute's and VG-Shipping Ltd's press release

The marine research vessel Aranda's carbon load will be significantly reduced when she starts being fuelled with domestic bio-oil made from food industry by-products, such as used vegetable oils and fish guts. Early this year, the vessel already switched over to bio-oil for heating.


"The ship's crew and visitors have noted that the smells wafting from the heating boiler remind them of traditional English fish and chips, so the smells of the exhaust gases are a good indicator of the fuel's origin."


"For the next step of the trial, we will start burning a mix of mineral-based marine diesel and bio-oil in the vessel's main engines during upcoming trips, looking to find the optimal ratio for efficient and economical engine operation with the highest possible proportion of bio-oil. The waste-based bio-oil used on the ship is made in a manufacturing plant in Uusikaupunki operated by the shipping company VG-Shipping. The higher the proportion of bio-oil in the fuel, the lower the ship's carbon load," says HRD Manager Juha Flinkman from SYKE's Marine Research Centre.


"The Research Vessel Aranda was built in the late 1980s when we needed a new ship suitable for icy conditions for Finnish marine research purposes. The Aranda was intended to be a display of Finnish shipbuilding expertise. In this regard the Aranda, which was commissioned in 1989, has been a success, as it hasn't required any major changes over the years".


Aranda being upgraded in other ways as well


New cooperation partners are adding more travel days to the Aranda's annual programme: the Natural Resources Institute Finland (LUKE) will carry out its annual fish stock assessment trips on the Aranda and the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI) uses the Aranda for monitoring the Baltic sea in cooperation with the Marine Research Centre.


However, the Aranda's changes are not limited to new and more cost-effective cooperation projects. The third contract period with shipping company VG-Shipping, which began at the turn of the year, will introduce significant technological changes to the Aranda, reducing her environmental load. This is a welcome changes since SYKE's certified environmental programme EKOSYKE has identified the Aranda as one of the largest individual sources of carbon load in SYKE's operations. This load has already been reduced with the help of an energy efficiency assessment carried out in collaboration with the shipping company, which has, for example, facilitated more efficient planning of research trips, leading to reduced fuel consumption.


Last year, the Aranda also received a considerable grant for an overhaul of the entire ship, the purpose of which is to ensure that she can take care of her duties until the end of her life cycle in the 2030s. The current fuel upgrade and subsequent upgrades to be carried out in 2015–2018 will not only make the Aranda a more cost-efficient and versatile research infrastructure used by a number of cooperation partners, but also one of the most environmentally friendly ships operating in the Baltic and Arctic seas.



For more information, please contact:


HRD Manager Juha Flinkman, SYKE Marine Research Centre tel. +358 (0) 295 251115

Senior Adviser Jukka Pajala, SYKE Marine Research Centre tel. +358 (0) 400 920 922

Project Manager Emilia Mustonen, VG-Shipping Ltd, tel. +358 (0) 41 507 3267

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