BHP sets sights on ammonia-fuelled vessel in 2026

A BHP senior executive said the global miner aims to receive its first ammonia-fuelled bulk carrier in 2026 as part of its plans to cut shipping emissions, reported Reuters.

Rashpal Singh Bhatti, vice president of Maritime and Supply Chain Excellence at BHP, told the news agency that the company has shortlisted eight companies for the building, operation and fuel supply for at least one such vessel.

However, it has not yet decided on the total number of vessels that it will order and is also assessing costs, technical and safety submissions, Bhatti said.

Ammonia is among several alternative fuels that shippers are considering to reduce carbon emissions, noted Reuters, as it does not emit carbon when burned. However, adoption of ammonia could take time as the industry is also working on safety and infrastructure standards for handling of the toxic fuel.

The proposed BHP ships are likely to refuel at ports in Australia, Japan and China.

“Australia is going to be a very strong hydrogen player or a very strong ammonia player. Yara is investing or has invested very heavily in Australia,” Bhatti said, referring to the Norwegian chemical maker.

“Mitsui, Sumitomo, JERA have invested very heavily in Japan … there is no doubt that China is (also) investing in ammonia … and when they invest, the scale is going to be massive,” he added.

Bhatti also said that BHP plans to use bio-blended fuels for bunkering regularly to meet Europe’s shipping emissions requirements, after conducting more than 30 trials.

The miner is currently using liquefied natural gas to fuel five of its ships.

Source: Reuters

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