A new consortium is planning to create a bunkering hub in the Baltic Sea for sustainable shipping fuels.

The Bornholm Bunker Hub consortium has launched a feasibility study to set out the financial potential for supplying sustainable fuels produced from offshore wind energy at the island in the Baltic Sea.

The project, involving major energy group Orsted and marine fuels firm Bunker Holding, will investigate how local power-to-X green energy can support the supply of sustainable fuels for the more than 60,000 ships that pass the island of Bornholm every year.

Other partners in the eight-company consortium include Danish ferry operator Molslinjen, Finnish engine maker Wartsila, French classification society Bureau Veritas, Bornholm's Port of Roenne, Danish engineering group Ramboll and hydrogen catalysis firm Haldor Topsoe.

The launch of the bunker hub comes a few weeks after a Danish government team on Bornholm recommended a study into the island’s prospects as a Baltic green transport hub be carried out. Denmark has a goal of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 70% by 2030.

Bornholm’s central location in the Baltic region gives it added potential to exploit green electricity from offshore wind from Sweden, Poland and Germany as well as Danish waters. The Port of Roenne has undergone expansion work over the past couple of years.

Bornholm ‘s Port of Roenne. Photo: Port of Roenne

“The idea of a bunker hub on Bornholm, and investigating the possibility and potential for creating a sustainable business in the future, is an obvious one,” said Carsten Jensen, chief executive of Molslinjen subsidiary Bornholmslinjen.

Anders Nordstrom, vice president and head of hydrogen at Orsted, added that using Bornholm as an “energy island” has great potential.

“Denmark has a unique opportunity to create an industrial position of strength within the production of sustainable fuels for heavy transport,” he said.

Consortium member Haldor Topsoe has developed ammonia technology to work with the fluctuating energy supply from wind and solar.

“Ammonia produced from renewable energy is a very promising maritime fuel,” said Jes Nikolaj Knudsen, the company's senior product line director.

Christoffer Berg Lassen, chief commercial officer of Bunker Holding Group, said the industry has an important but complex task ahead of it.

“It is incredibly important that we collaborate across the industry and contribute our individual expertise,” he said.

Cato Espeoo, sales director of Wartsila in Norway, added that the Bornholm Bunker Hub initiative is “very interesting” for the development of multi-fuel engines and testing of cleaner fuels for shipping.