LNG to reduce iron ore shipping emissions

A recent joint study reveals that well-to-wake emissions in the Pilbara-to-Asia iron ore export trade route can be reduced by over 90% by 2050 through the use of Liquefied Methane (LNG), Kallanish notes.

Pilbara Clean Fuels (PCF), Oceania Marine Energy (Oceania) and RINA say in a statement that the reduction of GHG emissions is achieved by progressively decreasing the LNG fuel share to the engines while proportionately increasing hydrogen usage. This allows for staged upgrades over the vessel’s lifetime to comply with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) requirements for continuously reducing GHG emissions.

The trio have recently completed a joint study. In November 2023, the trio sealed an memorandum of understanding (MoU) to collaborate on studies to define the commercial and emissions reduction benefits their combined concepts could deliver to ship owners and charterers for the Pilbara to Asia dry-bulk minerals export trade route.

The findings demonstrate an accessible and achievable pathway to net-zero emissions for LNG, on a well-to-wake basis, for international shipping on this trade.

The study presents a flexible and commercially attractive IMO compliant marine fuel strategy to ship owners, operators and charterers amidst competing alternative fuel. It proposes a ‘Green Corridor’ marine fuels solution for the Western Australia to China bulk minerals export trade route.

Western Australia is the largest producer of iron ore in the world, with current production of over 850 million tonnes/year, the majority of which is exported from the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

According to the statement, PCF is pursuing the development of an electrified LNG plant in Port Hedland, Western Australia aimed at producing low-carbon LNG marine bunker fuel.

Meanwhile, Oceania is developing a marine fuel bunkering business using purpose-designed LNG re-fuelling vessels to be chartered from Kanfer Shipping, Norway.

RINA, on the other hand, has developed an innovative concept for an LNG-fuelled 209,000 deadweight tonnage (DWT) Newcastlemax dry bulk carrier design incorporating pre-combustion carbon removal and hydrogen production to meet IMO 2050 Carbon Intensity Index (CII) requirements over the ship’s operating life.

The combination of systems and technologies allows LNG-fuelled dry-bulk carriers to significantly reduce emissions today and to comply with the IMO 2023 GHG Reduction Strategy through to 2050.

Siew Mung Tan Malaysia