Value Maritime makes marine fuel cheaper and more sustainable
Value Maritime is a company from Rotterdam that has developed a product to make marine fuel more sustainable: the Filtree. Yvette van der Sommen, Director Asia Pacific at Value Maritime, tells us about their product, their recent expansion to Singapore and what the reputation of the city of Rotterdam has meant for their company.
Value Maritime’s product: the Filtree
Central to Value Maritime’s business activities is the Filtree, a product they have developed and patented themselves. The Filtree is a merger of two words: ‘filter’ and ‘three’. This refers to the three substances that the product filters from the emission of ships: sulphate, fine dust and carbon dioxide (CO2).
“The Filtree cleans the emission of the engines of ships, and actually constitutes four different sustainable aspects” Yvette explains. “We place a unit behind the exhaust pipe, allowing the emission to flow through our system. That’s how we filter fine dust and sulphate. We also clean the water that we use for the filtering before we take it off the ship. And we filter CO2 from the emission of ships. That’s our unique selling point, and we do it in a highly energy efficient manner.”
The Filtree is particularly interesting for Value Maritime’s customers because of the climate regulations that are in place in many areas. Yvette: “Ships are allowed a certain concentration of sulphate emission in certain areas. This means they can do two things. Either use more expensive adapted oil, that has a lower concentration, or use an end-of-pipe solution. The latter is what we offer, with the addition that we do not only filter sulphate, but also fine dust and CO2.”
The extracted CO2
The CO2 filtered by the Filtree does not go to waste. “In Rotterdam, and in other parts of Europe, we thought of a great way to put the CO2 that we filter to use. We use it to help crops grow in greenhouses. What many greenhouses do is burn natural gas, to create warmth but also to generate CO2 to help crops grow faster. On other locations in the world, we use our extracted CO2 to produce methanol. Sometimes we turn to the food industry, which also needs a lot of CO2. In places where neither of these applications are an option, we turn to the underground storage of CO2 as a solution.”
Value Maritime and Singapore
Value Maritime has recently expanded to Singapore. Yvette was involved with this expansion. “Singapore is the largest maritime hub in Asia. Some of our major clients are situated there, such as Xpress Feeders and Eastern Pacific Shipping. Moreover, we are working to find ways that allow us to unload the CO2 off ships in Singapore, and to further process it on shore. After all, Singapore is one of the largest bunker hubs in the world, nearly all large ships come there to load up on fuels. This makes it a logical place for us to combine the bunkering with unloading our CO2 off the ships.”
In April 2023, Value Maritime was one of thirteen companies from Rotterdam that participated in a trade mission to Singapore, organised by Rotterdam Partners. Yvette was present as well. “It was a really useful week for us. The ports of Singapore and Rotterdam have a very good relation, and a trade mission like this strengthens this bond further. It helps you get into contact with companies, ship owners and local authorities. These parties are more difficult to reach when you go there on your own. In that way, the mission helped us get into contact with potential new customers and partners. So, I would really recommend entrepreneurs from Rotterdam to engage in such trade missions.”
The maritime reputation of Rotterdam
Value Maritime’s headquarters is located in the M4H area, in the west of Rotterdam. According to Yvette, Rotterdam is the ideal location for Value Maritime. “We are a company with Dutch origins and active in the maritime sector. That’s why it makes sense for us to be located in the maritime capital of the Netherlands. Also, worldwide Rotterdam has a great reputation in terms of maritime innovation and sustainability. We can demonstrate that we collaborate with the port of Rotterdam and that we can safely unload the CO2 we extract with our filters. Since we have proven we can do this in the prominent port of Rotterdam, we are now focussing on our next phase of setting up a worldwide network of ports where we can unload our CO2. If such a worldwide network is set in place, it will allow ships to unload the extracted CO2 everywhere in the world. This will bring us a step closer to achieving the goal of drastically reducing the emissions of ships.”