Swedish ro-ro operator Lakeway Link has signed a long-term biofuel supply deal.

The blend of 15% hydrotreated vegetable oil and marine diesel will be supplied by Stockholm bunker supplier ScanOcean.

Lakeway Link is a joint venture founded last year by Swedish shipowners Wallenius and Greencarrier. The Gothenburg-based company operates a single vessel, the 10,470-gt Lakeway Express (built 1999), operating between Sodertalje, south of Stockholm, and Gdynia in Poland.

ScanOcean managing director Jonatan Karlstrom confirmed that the contract would be for weekly supplies of the biofuel blend to Sodertalje.

Lakeway Link is the first customer to have signed up for regular supplies, he added.

“We are starting to see some movement in orders. It has been kick-started by the European emission trading scheme,” he said.

“We have a lot of Swedish industrial companies willing to pay for cleaner transportation, which encourages ro-ro operators in the Baltic.”

The biofuel blend complies with the bunker standard ISO 8217, making it easy to drop the fuel into supplies without engine modifications.

Karlstrom said the mix is also easier for ScanOcean as the bunker trucks supplying the Lakeway Express in Sweden will load the two fuels separately, but into the same tank, with blending possible in the vehicle ahead of delivery.

ScanOcean secures most of its bunkers from Finland, including from Neste, which has begun focusing on biofuel production.

It has also begun offering a 30% biofuel mix, which it said has had good trial results with shipping companies.

Hydrotreated vegetable oil is compliant as a green fuel under the Fuel EU maritime initiative, meaning owners can use it to account for lower emissions.

ScanOcean has been looking at another biofuel produced from rapeseed, but Karlstrom said the potential issue is that this fuel can be sourced from food-based crops, so that from a lifecycle accounting perspective, its CO2 reduction is much less.