Baseblue uses a global network of marine fuel providers to help cruise lines navigate toward more energy-efficient fuels.
“So, essentially, we plan how we’re going to refuel the vessel, we locate the fuel and we hedge the fuel,” said Nicholas Argyrou, key account director.
Argyrou said the company specializes in providing end-to-end refueling services, from locating the fuel to monitoring the bunkering and keeping track of the data.
The next step is to ensure compliance with the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) and that emission allowances are accounted for.
Argyrou said that the shift toward sustainability in cruising started to take off after the pandemic.
“There was a lot of catching up to do after the okay was given to the cruise industry to restart,” he said.
“And then when things started to go back to normal, we had the new wave of regulations coming in, which has to do with emissions and looking at how we contribute to sustainable cruising.
“The customers, the actual guests on the ship, have demands, they want to feel that they are contributing to sustainable shipping and they demand to see that cruise lines are doing everything they can to be environmentally friendly, to leave the smallest possible carbon footprint, and also for them to be able to feel that they are not impacting the environment.”
He said that the company is seeing strong demand for alternative fuels.
According to Argyrou, LNG and methanol will be used in the future to comply with new regulations.
Argyrou added that supplying fuel comes with a range of challenges even with traditional fuels, primarily the availability of fuel, compliance, the quality of the fuel, as well as its affordability.
“Now, the first difficulty we have is locating the product and having it available at the right time and at the right place for cruise vessels. Again, logistically, it’s difficult for the cruise vessels. We have limited time to be able to deliver the product.”
With alternative fuels, it’s even more challenging, he explained.
“The only alternative fuels we can now use are biofuels and they are limited right now, they’re not available in many ports,” he said. “They’re substantially more expensive than conventional fuels.
“When we’re talking about the new fuels like methanol and possibly in the future things like ammonia, again, we can find methanol molecules but they are not great, so we have to find ways to source that and to find green methanol that is produced from renewable sources of energy because this is what the international community demands.”
Argyrou said he believes that technology is key to being able to be on top of everything as it allows smaller operators to be as efficient as bigger players.
“At Baseblue, we have our own platform that is dedicated to cruise lines and allows our customers to do scheduling and it allows us to monitor their vessels in real time online. So essentially, our clients don’t need to worry about compliance, logistics and delivery as they have everything in one platform.”
The biggest focus for the company in 2024 will be to focus on helping their clients with the energy transition. He added that the company is also doing seminars to educate clients on the issue of regulations and compliance.