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Thames operators’ use of greener fuels is accelerating

An independent monitoring study commissioned by the Port of London Authority, shows the adoption of green fuels -- hydro-treated vegetable oil (HVO) fuels, and gas to liquid (GTL), converted from natural gas -- has significantly reduced emissions of particulate matter, compared to diesel, boosting air quality on the river.

A reduction of 39 per cent or more in nitrogen oxides and a slight reduction in carbon dioxide at the point of use (during combustion of the fuel) were also recorded. 

The full report will be available on our website next month.

We began trialling low-emission fuels in 2018. A programme to convert our fleet to HVO fuels started last year with our harbour patrol vessel, Kew.

James Trimmer, our director of planning and environment, said: “The wider use of greener fuels is an important first step towards our target of Net Zero emissions on the river by 2050. 

“It also is a major step forward in meeting the emissions reduction targets outlined in our Air Quality Strategy.”

GPS Marine’s Thames Tideway tug was the first in its fleet to convert to new biofuel Green D+, a type of HVO, last year.

Vessels along the river can now refuel with GreenD+, via GPS Dispenser, a refurbished barge. John Spencer, CEO said: “We hope to set an example for other fleets to take environmental responsibility into their own hands.”

Thames Marine Services has been supplying and promoting alternative cleaner fuels on the river for the past 18 months.

Director Robert Dwan said: “We have worked on trials for both Shell GTL and Crown HVO. Feedback from our customers has been very positive who are now looking to switch their fleet over from diesel to cleaner fuels.”