BHP wants to introduce LNG-fuelled iron ore vessels, which could transport up to 10 per cent of its product in the coming years.
The mining giant is considering LNG as a way to eliminate nitrogen oxide and sulphur oxide emissions by launching the world’s first tender for the ships.
It also welcomes other solutions that can lower greenhouse gas emissions and increase productivity from BHP’s freight requirements.
BHP believes emissions resulting from the transportation and distribution of the company’s products represent a “material source” of its value chain emissions.
The company has introduced the tender to a select group of industry leaders, from ship owners, banks and LNG fuel network providers.
“We recognise we have a stewardship role, working with our customers, suppliers and others to influence emissions reductions across the full life cycle of our products,” BHP vice president, maritime and supply chain excellence, Rashpal Bhatti said.
“Through this tender, we are seeking potential partners who share our ambition of lowering emissions to the maritime supply chain.”
Bhatti recognised that LNG may not be the sustainable fuel of choice for a zero carbon future, but BHP would not wait for a “100 per cent compliant solution” when it could make significant progress now.
The LNG-fuelled ships could, meanwhile, significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions along “the busiest bulk transport route globally.”
BHP iterated its full support of the International Maritime Organisation’s decision to impose lower limits on sulphur levels in marine fuels, according to Bhatti.