The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has adopted interim guidance on the use of biofuels and biofuel blends, a resolution vehemently pushed by India at a maritime environment protection conference here.
The London-based IMO is a specialised agency of the United Nations which is responsible for measures to improve the safety and security of international shipping and to prevent pollution from ships.
The interim guidance adopted on Thursday at the 80th Session of the Maritime Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) of the IMO stressed that biofuels that have been certified by an international certification scheme, meeting its sustainability criteria and provide a well-to-wake GHG emissions reduction of at least 65 per cent compared to the fossil fuels can be used in the shipping industry.
With this guidance coming into effect, India has great potential to be developed as a biofuel hub of the world.
"We, with our highly sustainable second-generation biofuel, are the leaders in the race now. Brazil and China are the other players, but our biofuel has proved to be of higher quality," Ajithkumar Sukumaran, Additional DG of Shipping and an Indian delegate at the MEPC told PTI.
Other member states backed up India on the resolution, overlooking the objections raised by the US.
"Member governments are invited to bring the annexed interim guidance to the attention of their administration, ship owners, ship operators, fuel oil suppliers, and any other interested or relevant stakeholders concerned of application as of October 1, 2023," the adopted IMO circular said.
The IMO circular also said the interim guidance should only be viewed as an interim simplified method until a more comprehensive method is developed to calculate a fuel's emission conversion factor, reflecting its well-to-wake GHG emissions and removals based on the IMO Life Cycle Analysis guidelines.
India has already tested 11 ships using its indigenously developed second-generation biofuel.
"We have a huge potential as our oil is produced from waste. Now public sector oil companies in India are also stepping in for biofuel production. So we expect a major scale-up in production and India could become a leading supplier of biofuels to the shipping industry," Sukumaran said.
(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)