Reducing Yacht Carbon Emissions: Is HVO Fuel the Answer?

Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil produces dramatically fewer emissions than diesel 

Yacht carbon emissions are a pressing issue in the yachting industry, and for good reasons, but what are the alternatives? Boatbookings begins to explore this topic as the industry accelerates its environmental agenda.

Ahead of the 33rd MYBA Charter show from 24th – 27th April in Barcelona, we take a look at the findings from the most recent MYBA environmental committee’s AGM report. The report discusses the immediate need for a fuel alternative and the role of HVO (Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil) fuel in moving toward net zero.

The emission problem 

The average person produces around 7 tonnes of C02 annually. Considering that statistic, one litre of diesel creates about 3 KG of C02 in the atmosphere; according to the report, if “a big yacht consumes 60,000 litres per week on charter, this is 180 metric tons of C02.” 

Given these statistics, it is no wonder that the industry’s future is steeped in a climate-conscious effort to pave the way toward a fossil fuel-free future. While there may be multiple challenges to fully decarbonizing the industry, there are also equal amounts of hope from innovative technologies and fast-developing hybrid and electrical solutions. 

HVO; An alternative? 

But how do we green the diesel-driven boats that are currently in our fleets? Experts believe HVO is the most viable alternative because there is no need to modify existing engines or generators. 

Originally the first-generation biofuel, FAME (Fatty Acid Methyl Esters), hailed a bad reputation. This was mainly due to FAME’s oxidation and affinity to water, leading to a significant risk of microbial growth. But HVO’s chemical makup, as well as storage stability, is similar to that of fossil fuels. Hence it offers a possible direct replacement, meaning that all yachts, not just retrofitted ones, can reduce their emissions immediately. 

So what exactly is HVO? It is made by using recycled sunflower oil. First, it undergoes hydro-treatment at high temperatures and pressures, where hydrogen is added to remove the oxygen. There are claims that it offers a 90% reduction in C02 emissions on the basis that it is made from recycled oil – having already made its environmental impact.

Who uses and supplies it?

Regarding the usage, Rolls Royce and MTU endorse HVO and have been testing their engines with it for a long time. As a tangible example, the charter yacht Lammouche has divulged its use of HVO fuel, which they source from Fioul83. 

The short-term challenges of HVO have focussed on the availability, production, and higher cost compared to diesel. However, the report outlines that “yachts can buy it for a premium of about 35 cents a litre for pure HVO.” 

In terms of supply, currently the best supplier is the Finland-based Neste, producing HVO with complete transparency – they are consistently ranked among the 100 most sustainable companies in the world. Although Neste is not yet “geared up to supply yachting, while aviation and ground-transport sectors are its primary consumers.” 

The report further reveals solutions through Neste’s distribution partners, a French company Altens and their partnership with Monaco-based sustainable fuel suppliers Romano Energy. Although they have only delivered to 18 (smaller) boats so far, the future holds lots of possibilities.

Choose a lower-carbon yacht

What is clear is that to reach net zero, the industry needs to burn less conventional fuel. Recent years have seen various alternatives out there, such as electric/battery yachts – each with pros and cons. Alongside alternatives, the report urges people to use tools to measure C02 to measure and reduce emissions. You can use our emissions calculator to determine your footprint based on distance and fuel consumed per mile or kilometer.

We are always keen to share our recommendations for charter yachts that hail lower carbon emissions. The Boatbookings team will be present at the Barcelona MYBA show and look forward to discussing this topic and the industry’s newest sustainable innovations for the charter fleet.

The New 110 Sunreef Power Multihull Superyacht

Sunreef yachts continue to go from strength to strength. Since the commission of Rafael Nadal’s 80 Sunreef Power earlier in the year, the Polish superyacht manufacturers have just announced they will launch a larger model. The 100 Sunreef Power is due accommodate 8 guests in 4 suites and scheduled for delivery in 2021.

© Sunreef Yachts

The 110 Power will span four decks weighing in just under 500GT. She will feature distinctive automobile design with sweeping lines, lots of glass and expansive volumes throughout. We cannot think of a better yacht charter destination than island hopping in Croatia or the Balearics to really make the most of her design. You would love it!

© Sunreef Yachts

The 110 Power will continue to accommodate the growing trends of an extensive beach club on the aft deck and large tender garage to house your favourite water sports. The socialising spaces continue to impress with easy access to the bow through the main saloon giving you easy access to the bow. The Sunreef 110 Power will host up to 9 crew members to take care of your every wish. Watch this space!

A bar with a view – Ibiza

Ibiza is truly one of the best destinations in Europe during the summer holidays for many reasons. Food, turquoise blue sea, beaches, sun, restaurants, and people – everything is amazing. Ibiza is an island with a doubled soul: the wild summer, devoted excesses with parties, festivals, and music which made it famous in the last 40 years. Where art and fashion merge with creating an environment where people can feel free to express themselves. On the flip side, there is then the more relaxed and quiet side that takes care of traditions and the uncontaminated nature of the island. Her volcanic soul, coupled with turquoise waters makes for a restful peaceful place – perhaps this is why it used to be a hippy island in the 60’s/70’s/80’s.

Here you can find the best side of both worlds and this perfect mix makes the island unique, fascinating and intriguing. If you decide to go cruising around the island you have to make sure to not miss the three following amazing bar/ restaurants. Perfect to spend some time with your family and friends and make unforgettable memories.


Located in the stunning Sol d’en Serra bay, this amazing beach restaurant offers lunch, dinner and a beach setting. During the day it is a quiet beach club, while in the evening it is a fine restaurant that offers you a tasty selection of contemporary Mediterranean dishes. The dishes are inspired by the modern Spanish and Italian cuisines and are composed of fresh meat or fish cooked in many different ways. Amante offers also some activities during day and night: Yoga and an open-air cinema.

The best time would definitely be when the sun starts going down. The bar and restaurant organised Aperitivi, with drinks and tapas. One of the main features of this location is the breathtaking view on the whole bay, what a better way to end your day in this unique location accompanied by this stunning view and a glass of wine. 

Sunset Ashram

Cala Conte is one of the most famous coves on the island. It is surrounded by sand dunes, rocky cliffs, and crystalline blue waters. This special gem also has the view that overlooks some small inhabited islands situated right in front, all reachable by boat! There are two main beaches with white sand, where you can relax under the Mediterranean sun.

Right next to the beach there is Sunset Ashram. It is a bar/restaurant where you can to enjoy some great drinks and fresh food. This is also one of the best places where you can enjoy the wonderful Ibizian sunsets. In the evening, the Sunset Ashram hosts various DJs playing during the spectacular sunsets, but it is above all a place where you completely relax, have a drink and watch the sky changing color while the sun disappears on the horizon.


If you want a place where to spend your day with music, food, beach and relaxing, Beachouse is the perfect location. Right next to the famous Ushuaïa Hotel & Club and the Hard Rock Hotel, this stunning beach/restaurant is situated in the most popular beach of Ibiza: Playa d’en Bossa. It is the longest beach on the island where some of the best bars and clubs are situated. House beach is definitely a must if you want to stay close to the “movida”. You can relax during the day by renting sunbeds and parasols and by attending some beach yoga sessions.

Just a few steps by from the Mediterranean sea there is the restaurant that offers lunch and dinner with typical, fragrant Spanish Paella or any fish based dishes. Thanks to the extensive menu of food and drinks you will be spoiled of choice! In the evening and during the night the atmosphere changes. Beachouse always hosts the famous international DJ’s and organizes the best parties. It is definitely a summer dream!