BHP has awarded Eastern Pacific Shipping (EPS) with the world’s first LNG-fuelled Newcastlemax bulk carrier tender, with the aim of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by more than 30 per cent per voyage.
The five-year charter contract will include five LNG-fuelled Newcastlemax bulk carriers to carry iron ore between Western Australia and China from 2022.
BHP chief commercial officer Vandita Pant said the LNG-fuelled vessels would virtually eliminate sulphur oxide (SOx) emissions and reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions.
“As one of the largest dry bulk charterers in the world BHP recognises the role we play in working with our suppliers and customers to drive actionable reductions in GHG emissions across the maritime supply chain,” Pant said.
“The tender marks a progressive shift for BHP and the broader mining and shipping industry and is a significant step toward lowering GHG emissions in the 1.5 billion tonne iron ore seaborne market.”
EPS chief executive officer Cyril Ducau added that the company is thrilled to work with BHP on this project.
“BHP’s commitment to making a positive change for the industry resonated with our decarbonisation mission and our culture of environmental protection,” Ducau said. “When these vessels deliver in 2022, they will be the cleanest and most efficient in the entire dry bulk shipping fleet and will be IMO 2030 compliant, eight years ahead of schedule.”
With the LNG bunkering supply contract expected to be awarded in October, EPS offered a competitive bid and an efficient vessel design with superior fuel efficiency and GHG emissions reductions.
BHP believes the LNG bunkering time charter contract will allow it to manage the fuel supply risk, build LNG operations capability internally and capture OpEx benefits through optimisation of voyage operations and fuel utilisation.
“As an established provider of marine transportation to the energy market for 60 years, EPS shares BHP’s commitment to lowering emissions in the maritime supply chain and we look forward to working with them to align with the GHG goals of the International Maritime Organisation,” Pant said.