In a significant stride towards a sustainable future, motor yacht LAMMOUCHE recently became the first yacht in the Mediterranean and in France—and believed to be the second worldwide—to take delivery of the revolutionary clean-emission biofuel, CristalPower XTL 100. LAMMOUCHE took on 23,000 liters of the fuel at IGY Sète Marina and is currently managed by SYM, both recently acquired by Northrop & Johnson.
CristalPower XTL 100 is a second-generation biofuel created by recycling used cooking oil, called hydrotreated vegetable oil or HVO. It is non-toxic, biodegradable and odorless. Though currently more expensive than conventional fuels, it is superior to diesel in terms of long-term storage, reduction of particulate emissions and black smoke by up to 80 percent, reduced engine noise and a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 90 percent.
This achievement not only signifies a major milestone for the yacht industry but also showcases the growing importance of eco-responsible fuel choices. In making the transition from fossil fuels to biofuel, LAMMOUCHE is spearheading a movement toward cleaner and more efficient energy solutions.
“It was very easy and people shouldn’t be afraid,” says Jean-Max Berthet, Captain of LAMMOUCHE. “The process is very simple once you get approval from the engine and generator manufacturers. Then, you just need to inform the class and the insurance. After that, it’s very easy. It doesn’t require any engine modifications or fuel management. You can mix with GO, or swap one day on GO and the day after on HVO without any problems.”
According to the European Environmental Agency, maritime transport in and around the Mediterranean accounts for around 22 percent of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions and 16 percent of sulfur oxide (SOx) emissions globally. Some studies have shown that the adoption of biofuels can result in a significant reduction in CO2 emissions—while it varies, some report up to 80 percent.
So far, after an initial trial in December 2022, Captain Berthet reports no change in performance or fuel consumption. “The only difference in performance is the reduction of toxic fumes emission and the reduction in CO2. The other advantages are the reduction of fumes to zero and the use of 100 percent biodegradable product.”
As a result, Captain Berthet is optimistic about the future of yachting. “We have great hopes. All our clients are congratulating us for this move, so we hope it inspires others.”
LAMMOUCHE’s pioneering decision to take on CristalPower XTL 100 biofuel not only demonstrates their captain, crew and owners’ commitment to environmental stewardship but also sets a new standard for sustainable yachting practices, particularly in the Mediterranean.
“We are working hard to show the easiness and the need for yachts to adopt new fuels. I hope all our marketing will work soon or later! There isn’t a week that goes by where captains or professionals don’t contact me for some feedback. Everyone is looking for a solution. HVO might not be the best one long-term, but it is the perfect answer for today to decarbonate all these second-hand yachts. Many technologies are coming on the market for new builds, but we don’t have any for the existing fleet.”
By embracing eco-responsible fuel, yacht owners and operators can contribute to a cleaner and greener future, minimizing their impact on fragile marine ecosystems. As the Mediterranean welcomes the era of eco-responsible fuel, it is our collective responsibility to follow LAMMOUCHE’s lead and embark on a path towards a more sustainable and vibrant marine environment.