Sustainable Energy: PONANT At The Forefront With ALTENS Biofuel Based On Recycled Oils

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Le Champlain

Le Champlain, one of the six PONANT Explorers series vessels, is to run on B100 biofuel produced from recycled cooking oil. Carried out with ALTENS, the trial is the first in France and underlines PONANT’s commitment to reducing its CO2 emissions by 30% per navigation day by 2030[1]

“This first marine biofuel test is part of our roadmap as their carbon footprint is infinitely lower than conventional fuels, with a 90% reduction of CO2 emissions. They are produced from used cooking oils, can be incorporated directly into engines and are available now. We want to help demonstrate that it is a credible alternative that can contribute to decarbonising PONANT’s fleet and the entire maritime industry. These tests will help fine tune technical parameters and the different emissions and composition of gas associated with using this type of biofuel,” explains Mathieu Petiteau, Newbuilding and R&D Director at PONANT.

Le Champlain, first vessel to test this new fuel type in France

The B100 Le Champlain is bunkering is produced in France, from cooking oils collected in France. It is distributed by ALTENS, a leading French supplier of alternative non-fossil fuels for the transport sector. As the first French cruise line to test this new generation of biofuels, PONANT continues to progress its sustainability and decarbonisation strategy. In compliance with legislation, the first bunkering will be accompanied by a series of tests to ensure in particular that NOx emissions remain compliant with regulatory specifications. SOx, particulates and black carbon emissions will also be measured. Once this trial stage has been completed, PONANT plans to roll out its use to the rest of its fleet, subject to supply capacities.

“We are extremely proud to see these sustainability initiatives continuing to be trialed by PONANT” said Deb Corbett, General Manager Sales & Marketing for Asia Pacific. “It reinforces our vision for a more sustainable future and our status as pioneers of new forms of tourism, starting with the operations of our fleet, a core pillar of our global ambitions.”

A certified performance marine biofuel

During a technical stop in Cherbourg, Le Champlain will take on biodiesel B100 which is 100% produced from cooking oils collected from the food industry, catering outlets and catering trades in France.

Le Champlain is fitted with Wartsila diesel engines and B100 is totally compatible as a drop-in fuel to meet targets. With CO2 emissions 90% lower than fossil fuels, it exceeds European requirements for 2035. The whole B100 biofuel production sector is certified by ISCC (International Sustainability and Carbon Certification), an international standard recognised by the European Union and which also guarantees traceability of raw materials.


Explore to Inspire: explore to better understand, learn, share and protect. For 35 years, PONANT has been committed to more responsible tourism and voyages of exploration which have meaning. The French-flagged fleet comprises 13 small ships equipped with state of the art environmentally friendly equipment. With PONANT, exploration is refined, authentic and a source of inspiration. For more information


The leading French supplier of a range of alternative fuels, Altens is above all a provider of decarbonization solutions. In 2023, Altens is launching the PUR-BioM range of biofuels to reduce the carbon footprint of maritime transport in France. With less CO2eq impact than marine fuels, B30, B100 and HVO100 are an effective and concrete response to environmental challenges. Furthermore, Altens offers the “PUR” range which allows a reduction of 60 to 90% in its customers’ CO2eq emissions. Thanks to a wide choice of products, companies can therefore choose for the biofuel suited best to their uses, environmental ambitions, technical or economic constraints, but also administrative constraints (taxation, REDIII, Low emission zones, CII, FuelEU Maritime). Fully involved in the ecological energy transition, Altens informs users of existing solutions, raises awareness among contractors and participates in the training of alternative fuel prescribers. The change in the market also leads Altens to support its customers in the digitalization of sustainability traceability management. Support made possible in particular by MyAltens, a tool which reinforces transparency and improves the governance of the purchases of alternative energy solutions, as well as the associated CO2eq savings. Altens is the decarbonization partner that advises and supports more than 500 customers with flexible, complete and complementary, but also scalable solutions. For mor information:

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