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Gazprom Neft's vessels to use biofuel produced from waste cooking oil

(Reuters) - Russia's successor to McDonald's has teamed up with energy company Gazprom Neft to fuel marine vessels with biofuel produced using waste cooking oil an effort to lower their carbon footprints, the companies said on Thursday.

Russia has said it was still committed to its climate targets despite the deepest political rift with the West in decades. Biofuels are widely considered to be less harmful in terms of emissions than conventional fuels.

Gazprom Neft's bunkering business subsidiary, Gazprom Neft Marin Bunker, said it was the first company in Russia to feed a vessel with marine fuel blended with biofuel in the Baltic Sea port of St. Petersburg.

It said the new fuel is in compliance with technical regulations and can be used for most sea and river vessels.

Vkusno & tochka, or "Tasty and that's it", which took over from McDonald's in Russia last year after the U.S. hamburger chain shut restaurants and exited the market in opposition to Russia's actions in Ukraine, is part of the project as well as a company called Ecoway.

Vkusno & tochka already supplies waste cooking oil for production of biofuel used for heating of electric-powered buses in Moscow and has been recycling used cooking oil for over a decade.

"The test fueling in St. Petersburg showed that the new green fuel, in terms of its technical characteristics, is fully consistent with traditional petroleum products, while its use significantly reduces the carbon footprint," said Anton Soboled, the director general of Gazprom Neft Marin Bunker.

Irina Korshunova, in charge of sustainable development at Vkusno & tochka, said the company processes around 5,500 tons of waste cooking oil each year.

"Now, part of the processed products will be used as a bio-component for marine fuel. For the company, this is an important and conscious step in the implementation of the sustainable development strategy," she said.

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