Eastern Pacific Shipping charters LNG-powered bulker quintet to BHP

Singapore’s Eastern Pacific Shipping has signed a deal to charter five LNG-powered Newcastlemax bulk carriers to Australian miner BHP.

The five-year deal follows a tender by the mining giant seeking vessels with the ability of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by more than 30 percent per voyage.

Both companies credit a shared commitment to industry-wide decarbonisation as a driving force behind the contract.

The five dual-fuel bulk carriers will carry iron ore between Western Australia and China from 2022.

The two companies did not reveal any additional info regarding the charter contract.

World’s first dry bulk LNG-powered charter

BHP claims this is the world’s first LNG-fueled Newcastlemax bulk carrier tender and charter.

Additionally, the 209,000-dwt vessels will feature high-pressure ME-GI engines reducing methane slippage to “negligible levels”.

Furthermore, the frim said in a statement on Friday it expects to award the LNG bunkering supply contract in October this year.

“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,” BHP chief commercial officer, Vandita Pan said.

She 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.

“The LNG bunkering time charter contract, with a total cost of ownership less than a conventionally-fueled Newcastlemax, will enable BHP to manage the fuel supply risk, build LNG operations capability internally and capture OpEx benefits through optimization of voyage operations and fuel utilization,” Pan said.

EPS CEO Cyril 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.”

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