Dordrecht, April 10, 2020
Dutch Ministry of Defence must and wants to become greener. The dependence on fossil fuel is reduced and the percentage of renewable energy increases. By adding biofuel to road diesel, Dutch Ministry of Defence is taking a major step in making its transport operations more sustainable. Starting April, the Dutch Defence fuel pumps will be giving synthetically produced sustainable diesel. Paul Damming of the Fuel and Operating Materials department explains.
“Dutch Defence opts for the addition of Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO), an advanced biofuel. This HVO is made by intensively treating waste flows, such as used cooking oil, residues from forest management and other residual waste, and converting these into diesel fuel. The Dutch Ministry of Defence has now signed a contract for this with supplier FinCo Fuel Nederland, which also guarantees that no raw materials such as palm oil or rapeseed oil are used. We just don't want to compete with the food supply!”
Paul Damming: 'Soon it will not matter whether you fill up with diesel, biofuel or a mix of both.'
Sounds good, but the fuel used by Dutch Defence must meet the strict NATO F-54 specification. In addition, biofuel must be suitable for longer periods of storage, just like fossil diesel. “No problem”, Damming assures, “the biofuel used clearly differs from the biodiesel (FAME) that we know as the 1st generation. Due to slime formation, FAME is not suitable for longer- term storage. After the addition of the HVO, the fuel mixture still fully meets the required specification of diesel fuel EN590, the basis for the NATO specification. The new diesel is therefore also suitable for long-term storage, when vehicles are not used for a long time or for example with emergency power supplies.”
Nothing will change for the Dutch Defence drivers; they can continue to refuel, like here at the BOS charging station in Stroe.
Refueling in mission area
And what if you have to refuel in Afghanistan, Mali or any other crisis area? It is unlikely that biofuel will be available there ... Damming: “Nothing changes for the end user: there are no consequences regarding storage, engine wear or vehicle usage. Your car will continue to run, even if you refuel with bio one time and with 'regular' diesel the next (for example in Afghanistan). Mixing these fuels is no problem at all.”
Biofuels are not commonly available in mission areas. That does not matter, the vehicle will continue to run.
With the choice of 20% admixture of sustainable HVO to road diesel, the Dutch Defence achieves the desired objectives. With this addition, CO2-emissions will decrease by approximately 17%. The emission of particulate matter also decreases.
Pieter Peeters, CEO of FinCo Fuel Nederland, is proud of the contribution that his company can make to making defense equipment more sustainable. “By choosing for HVO, a qualitative choice is made that saves more than 9 million kg of CO2 per year. This is equivalent to the intake of almost half a million trees or the emissions of 400 households. A nice result. Starting in April with the first delivery, we will supply 15,000 m3 of fuel per year, that means 1-2 truck loads per day. This cleaner fuel mix is a great extension of our collaboration, which also contributes to our joint ambition: a cleaner world.”
Starting in April, every day tankers from FinCo in Amsterdam will be delivering the diesel mixed with HVO to defense refueling locations throughout the Netherlands.