“Green Corridor” LNG bulker JIP releases new LNG-fuelled Newcastlemax design

At the Nor-Shipping trade fair in Oslo today, project partners BHP, Fortescue, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL), Rio Tinto, SDARI, U-Ming, Woodside, and DNV GL presented the results from stage one of their “Green Corridor” joint industry project (JIP). The JIP has demonstrated the commercial potential and technical feasibility of LNG-fuelled bulkers in a “green corridor” iron ore and coal trade between Australia and China. The result is an LNG-fuelled Newcastlemax design which is in the process of receiving Approval in Principle (AiP) from DNV GL.

Green Corridor 3D illustration

The idea of developing LNG-fuelling infrastructure for the vessels operating on the Australia–China iron ore and coal trade route has been contemplated by major charterers, ship owners and operators for many years. As LNG production has climbed, especially in Australia, and in recognition of the upcoming IMO restrictions on sulphur emissions, the option of LNG as a single-system solution for emissions compliance has become ever more attractive.

“This JIP has shown that by bringing together partners from across the industry to investigate alternative compliance options that account for market and trade route characteristics, such as safety and ease of operation, cargo and fuel flexibility, energy efficiency and economic viability, we can arrive at unique solutions that fulfil owners and operators’ requirements, as well as being in full compliance with international rules and regulations,” said Morten Løvstad, DNV GL – Maritime Business Director Bulk Carriers. “By having both charterers and ship owners as active partners in the JIP, we are also optimistic that this new design will materialize into firm orders in the near future.”

Chinese ship designer SDARI developed the design of the 210,000 dwt Newcastlemax bulk carrier based on their highly energy efficient Green Dolphin design. Dual fuel engines were quickly decided upon by the JIP partners, as this is a mature technology with multiple suppliers offering solutions, and the dual fuel design providing operational redundancy.

Based on fuel consumption analyses an LNG fuel tank size of approximately 6000 m3 was found to be optimal, with bunkering in Australia for the round-trip. Several locations for the LNG fuel tank were considered, and finally the optimal solution was found – with the two LNG fuel tanks placed directly above the engine room and submerged a few metres below the main deck. This innovative design offers protection for the fuel tanks, enhances fire protection, and does not reduce the cargo carrying capacity, even for volumetric cargoes such as coal.

“We hope this mutual collaboration will contribute to building the positive momentum of the industry to meet environmental and social requirements. We would like to renew our commitment to promote the further development of environmental technologies to achieve more sustainable ocean transportation,” said Toshiaki Tanaka, Managing Executive Officer, Director General, Dry Bulk Business Unit from Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd.

“An important part of the JIP was conducting the financial feasibility study for the design,” said Mike Utsler, Woodside Chief Operations Officer. “We looked at a wide range of capital and operational costs, including LNG and low sulfur fuel oil price sensitivities, as well as conducting a high-level bunker supply chain assessment. Based on this we found that, under the most realistic scenario, the payback period for the design was under 10 years, and under the optimistic projection just 6.7 years.”

“This joint industry project has shown us the power of a collaborative approach to a regulatory step change,” said David O'Brien, Principal Advisor, Rio Tinto. “Outside the JIP, we can be partners, competitors, suppliers and principals but inside the JIP, the common goal is clear and has shown to be achievable. We strongly support this type of collective industry approach when faced with an uncertain target.”

“As a member of the global shipping community, U-Ming continuously explores the latest technology and business models to enhance the protection of the environment,” said C.K. Ong, President of U-Ming Marine Transport Corp. “The 'Green Corridor' JIP is a collaboration of expertise and competence from like-minded people working towards a common goal. We truly believe the Green Dolphin 210 would result in an outstanding ecological footprint and business performance. By teamwork, we go further.”

The new, innovative Newcastlemax design developed in the "Green Corridor" JIP offers unique solutions for cost efficient, safe and flexible operations. By gathering key stakeholders representing the wider value chain of iron ore and coal transportation, a more robust, commercially viable and safe LNG-fuelled bulk carrier design has been developed, to a stage where it is ready to serve as the outline specification for newbuilding orders in 2017.

Vessel main particulars:

  • Length overall: 300.0m
  • Breadth: 50.0m
  • Depth: 25.2m
  • Scantling draught: 18.5m
  • Deadweight at scantling draught: 210,000t
  • Cargo holds volume: 225,000m3
  • LNG tanks volume: 6,000m3
  • Main engine: WINGD 6X72 DF MAN B&W 6G70ME-C9.5-GI
  • Class notation: DNV GL, +A1 BULKCARRIER ESP BC-A GRAB[35] CSR, Holds 2, 4 ,6 and 8 may be empty, COAT-PSPC(B) GAS FUELLED

Read a full article about the “Green Corridor” JIP in our latest Bulk Carrier Update available on our magazine page.

About BHP

BHP is a leading global resources company. The company is among the world's largest producers of major commodities, including iron ore, metallurgical coal, copper and uranium, and has substantial interests in conventional and unconventional oil and gas and energy coal.

About Fortescue

Fortescue Metals Group is a global leader in the iron ore industry, recognised for its culture, innovation and industry-leading development of world class infrastructure and mining assets in the Pilbara, Western Australia. Since it was founded in 2003, Fortescue has discovered and developed major iron ore deposits and constructed some of the most significant mines in the world. Now producing 165–170 million tonnes of iron ore per annum, the company has grown to be one of the largest global iron ore producers and is focussed on its vision of being the safest, lowest cost, most profitable iron ore producer.

About Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL)

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL), founded in 1884, is one of the world's leading shipping companies headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. The company operates more than 800 of various types of vessels, including tankers, dry bulkers such as iron ore carriers, coal carriers and woodchip carriers, liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers, car carriers and containerships. MOL and its group companies also provide business other than international shipping, such as terminal and logistics services, cruise ships, ferries, coastal liners and others. For more information, please visit www.mol.co.jp/en/

About Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto is a leading global mining and metals group that focuses on finding, mining, processing and marketing the Earth’s mineral resources. We have been in business for more than 140 years and remain focused on a long-term horizon. Our approach is driven by an enduring and proven strategy. It sees us invest in and operate long-life, low-cost, expandable operations in the most attractive industry sectors. Our world-class assets are run by a company of world-class people: a 55,000-strong workforce spanning more than 40 countries. We foster a culture where our people keep their safety, and that of their workmates, at the top of their minds; where every person understands how they can create and preserve value for the business; and where diversity and innovation are embraced. We produce a diverse suite of minerals and metals that enable the world to grow and develop. Our contribution to sustainable development is integral to how we do business. It is a fundamental consideration in how we manage the business, seeking long-term mutually beneficial outcomes for our business and our stakeholders. Our approach is underpinned by our values of respect, integrity, teamwork and accountability. Combined with the strength provided by our people and our assets, they help form the foundations of our long-term success.


SDARI is a ship design consultant under China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) with more than 600 employees. SDARI is the market leader in merchant ship design and development in China and has accumulated more than 1,000 as-built designs in the past five decades.  For more information visit http://sdari.cssc.net.cn/ Contact: rnd@sdari.com.cn

About U-Ming

U-Ming Marine Transport Corporation (U-Ming), formerly named as Yue Ming Transportation Co., was established in 1984 to provide marine transportation of cement, dry commodities and industrial raw materials, specializing in the trading of vessels and providing agency services. The company’s philosophy is firmly established from the foundation of Far Eastern Group’s motto “Sincerity, Diligence, Thrift, Prudence and Innovation”. With this motto, we are committed to attaining a higher value of the company and thus set our minds on “value-adding” to our customers, employees and shareholders as our corporate philosophy.

About Woodside

We are Australia’s most experienced liquefied natural gas operator, with a reputation for reliability, efficiency and operational excellence. Our producing assets in Australia include the landmark North West Shelf Project, which has been operating since 1984. In 2012, we commenced production from the Pluto LNG Plant and expect to add additional volumes from our non-operated Wheatstone LNG interests in mid-2017. We have significant equity interests in high-quality development opportunities in Australia, Canada, Senegal and Myanmar and operate a fleet of floating production storage and offloading vessels.  Our global exploration portfolio includes emerging and frontier provinces in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region, the Atlantic Margins, Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America. We continue to expand our capabilities in marketing, trading and shipping and have enduring relationships that span more than 25 years with foundation customers throughout the Asia-Pacific.


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