In a radical step for the future of eco-friendly yachting, the 44 metre Sanlorenzo superyacht Lammouche is now trialling a new, clean-emission biofuel.
The yacht, which is managed for charter by Burgess, took delivery of 15,000 litres of second-generation biofuel in the South of France in early November.
The yacht is now undertaking sea trials in Spain, with one engine using biofuel and the other using traditional diesel. The trials have been a "success" so far, according to Captain Jean-Maxime Berthet, who plans to switch the second engine to biofuel once the current diesel supply runs out.
The fuel alternative, while more expensive than diesel, claims to be 100 per cent renewable and capable of reducing CO2 emissions by 50 - 90 per cent, while also slashing the emissions of toxic particulates by 80 per cent. It also does not require any modifications to a standard superyacht engine.
The new fuel is a type of HVO (hydrotreated vegetable oil) product made from recycled cooking oil that is then treated with hydrogen and mixed with fresh cooking oil. It has the same chemical structure as traditional fuels, and as well as its eco-credentials, it is also odourless, more stable in storage than conventional products and promises to reduce engine noise.
The fuel being used by Lammouche is sold by Fioul 83 and marketed under the name Cristal Power XTL 100.
The change comes after six months of discussions in order to obtain class approval and secure an agreement between the owning and managing companies. Talks took place between engine manufacturer Caterpillar, the owner and owner's team and the yacht's crew, led by Captain Berthet. "We had a lot of talks discussing what the future of fuel will look like," explained Berthet. "The [yacht's owner] is very eco-focused... when you speak to charterers, they are also becoming very eco-motivated, too."
"I am very proud to manage a yacht whose owner has taken such a positive, progressive decision," said Burgess charter manager Caroline Boisson. "Everyone at Burgess understands the need to improve our sustainability credentials and reduce our environmental impact, and we all applaud the owning company, Captain Berthet and the crew of Lammouche for clearing every hurdle, moving every obstacle, to make this happen."
However, Captain Berthet also noted that this type of biofuel would be a "short to long-term solution", which will be used on Lammouche for the next five or six years, until other eco-friendly solutions are developed.