Mount Tourmaline, world's first LNG-powered dry bulk vessel, is moored at Jurong Port in Singapore, February 7, 2022. REUTERS/Isabel Kua

First LNG-Fueled Newcastlemax Bulk Carrier Fuels Up in Singapore

Mike Schuler
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February 7, 2022

The first LNG-fueled bulk carrier to transport iron ore between Western Australia and Asia has arrived in Singapore for its first bunkering operation prior loading its first cargo.

Mining giant BHP welcomed the arrival of its new M/V Mt. Tourmaline, billed as the world’s first LNG-fueled Newcastlemax bulk carrier, referring to the largest-size ship that can enter Australia’s Port of Newcastle.

In total, BHP has chartered five LNG-fuelled Newcastlemax bulk carriers BHP has charted from Eastern Pacific Shipping (EPS) for five years and awarded the LNG fuel contract to Shell.

The vessel arrived at Jurong Port in Singapore for its first LNG bunkering operation, which will take place using the first LNG bunkering tanker in Singapore, named FueLNG Bellina. The vessel is operated by FueLNG, a joint venture between Shell Eastern Petroleum and Keppel Offshore & Marine.

After LNG bunkering, the 209,000-deadweight tonne vessel will leave for Port Hedland in Western Australia for iron ore loading operations.

The LNG-fuelled vessels are expected to reduce GHG emissions intensity by more than 30 percent per voyage compared to a conventionally-fueled ships, contributing to BHP’s goal of reducing emissions intensity from its chartered fleet by 40% by 2030, says BHP Chief Commercial Officer, Vandita Pant.

“BHP works with our suppliers to embed innovative and sustainable solutions in our supply chain. This vessel delivers significant improvements to energy efficiency and emissions intensity, as well as reduced overall GHG emissions in our value chain. These achievements demonstrate BHP, EPS and Shell’s shared commitment to social value through innovative emissions reduction initiatives,” says Pant.

“Today’s historic LNG bunkering is further evidence that the industry’s energy transition is in full swing,” said EPS CEO, Cyril Ducau. “These dual-fuel LNG Newcastlemax vessels are a world’s first, but more importantly, they represent a culture shift in shipping and mining. These ships tell both industries that significant carbon emission reduction is available today and necessary to implement, as we work towards net zero solutions. EPS would like to congratulate BHP, FueLNG, MPA, and Shell for being leaders in the decarbonisation movement.”

Newcastlemax ships are have a maximum overall length of 300 meters and maximum beam of 50 meters.

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