Brazilian sugar and ethanol producer Raizen is partnering with Wartsila, a Finnish technology provider for the marine and energy markets, to test the use of ethanol as a maritime fuel.

The companies have signed a decarbonisation agreement and will work towards creating a vessel powered entirely by ethanol, Paula Kovarsky, vice president of strategy and sustainability at Raizen, announced on Linkedin. 

According to Paulo Corte-Real Neves, vice president trading at Raizen, the  company’s preliminary studies suggest that replacing fossil fuels with sustainably produced ethanol can cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in shipping by up to 80% on a standard route from Brazil to Europe. 

Reuters reported that Raizen will provide first- and second-generation ethanol for the research project and will assign a team to work with Wartsila’s researchers. The objective of the partnership is to trial ethanol as an alternative fuel on Wartsila’s dual-fuel ship engines that can run both on gasoil and methanol. 

Raizen recently obtained certification attesting that its ethanol complies with international requirements for the production of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).