Australian miner BHP has awarded a contract to energy giant Shell to supply LNG fuel to five 209,000-dwt Newcastlemax bulk carriers.
The contract follows a tender process that included potential suppliers across several geographies, the Australian firm said.
To remind, BHP has previously signed a deal with Singapore’s Eastern Pacific Shipping to charter the vessels for a period of five years.
The five dual-fuel bulk carriers will carry iron ore between Western Australia and China from 2022.
Furthermore, Shell will fuel the ships with Singapore’s first LNG bunkering vessel FueLNG Bellina.
FueLNG, a joint venture between Shell Eastern Petroleum and Keppel Offshore & Marine, operates the vessel.
Asian LNG bunkering boost
BHP Chief Commercial Officer, Vandita Pant, said LNG-powered vessels would help BHP reduce CO2-e emissions by 30 percent on a per voyage basis compared to a conventional-fueled voyage.
“The LNG bunkering contract will enable BHP to manage fuel supply risk, build LNG operational capability internally, and also help to strengthen the emerging LNG bunkering market in the region,” Pant said.
She added that this contract would form up to 10 percent of forecasted Asian LNG bunkering demand in the fiscal year 2023.
Steve Hill, executive VP, Shell Energy said “decarbonisation of the shipping industry must begin today and LNG is the cleanest fuel currently available in meaningful volumes.”
“This LNG bunkering contract strengthens the bunkering market in the region and we look forward to working with BHP and other customers in the maritime sector on their journey to a net-zero emissions future,” Hill said.