Swiss-Italian dry bulk ship operator Nova Marine Carriers undertook its first carbon neutral voyage last week, offsetting the CO2 emitted by its vessel Sider Rodi by voluntarily purchasing carbon credits for a Madagascan solar farm project.

The Ambatolampy solar power plant provides green electricity and a stable power supply to around 50,000 Malagasy households. The project developer GreenYellow recently announced plans to significantly expand Ambatolampy’s output.

The 8,063dwt general cargo vessel Sider Rodi had been chartered by a major European power utility company to deliver 3,395 tonnes of woodchip from Livorno to Porto Vesme in Italy, in the process consuming 28.2 tonnes of marine gas oil and low sulphur fuel oil, equating to 94 tonnes of CO2.

This figure includes the vessel’s ballast leg from Genoa to Livorno to undertake the charter as well as the fuel consumed in port during loading and discharge operations.

Nova Marine Carriers Chief Executive Officer Vincenzo Romeo said:

“This is a first step for Nova Marine Carriers and a tangible way of reducing our environmental impact today.  Shipping is still a carbon intensive activity, but nevertheless the most environmentally friendly way of transporting goods across Europe.

“We are committed to reducing our actual carbon emissions through investing in modern ships, continuous operational improvements and supporting research into the next generation of fuels. But we passionately believe that action to reduce global emissions needs to be taken today, so supporting an African solar farm plays a role in making a real-world difference right now.”

In 2020 Nova Marine Carriers fleet of 80 vessels undertook over 2000 voyages and transported around 22 million tonnes of cargo.

The trade was brokered by IFCHOR ClearBlue Oceans, a carbon market specialist and international shipbroker and verified by carbon accounting standard organisation Verra.

The not-for-profit Verra organisation runs the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), the world’s most widely used voluntary greenhouse gas programme. According to Verra, the Ambatolampy solar power plant reduces Madagascar’s CO2 emissions by 25,000 tonnes per year.

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