Japan’s JFE Steel inks charter deals for three LNG-powered bulkers

Japanese steel manufacturer JFE Steel has signed long-term charter deals for three 210,000-ton LNG-powered bulk carriers.

JFE Steel said on Tuesday it would use the Newcastlemax vessels to transport iron ore and coal from overseas locations to its steelworks in Japan.

Moreover, the steel producer signed the three deals with compatriot shipping giants NYK Line, K Line, and MOL.

Designed by Nihon Shipyard, Japan Marine United but also Imabari Shipbuilding will build the LNG-powered vessels and deliver them from the beginning of 2024, according to JFE Steel.

With this move, JFE Steel says it would become the first company in Japan to deploy LNG-fueled ships in the 210,000-ton class.

Each ship will have an overall length of less than 300m, beam of up to 50m, freeboard of up to 25m and draft of up to 18.4m.

In addition, maximum gross tonnage will be 110,800 tons and deadweight capacity will be 210,000 tons.

“JFE Steel’s shift to LNG-powered transportation will support global efforts to create a more carbon-neutral world by reducing greenhouse gas emissions generated during international shipping,” the firm said.

JFE Steel said it also plans to consider using zero-emission ships powered by other eco-friendly fuels such as ammonia and carbon-recycling methane.

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