14 September 2021
Championing sustainability in the maritime supply chain
The maritime industry accounts for 2 to 3 per cent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. As one of the largest dry bulk charterers in the world, BHP recognises the role we play in working with our suppliers and customers to support them in achieving actionable reductions in GHG emissions across the maritime supply chain.
Our goal for 2030 is to support a 40 per cent emissions intensity reduction of BHP-chartered shipping of our products. In 2021, we also set a new target of net zero1 by 2050 for greenhouse gas emissions from all shipping2 of our products3 by 2050, subject to the widespread availability of carbon-neutral4 solutions, including low/zero-emission technology on board suitable ships and low/zero-emission marine fuels. See our Climate Transition Action Plan 2021 for more information).
Maritime Decarbonisation Centre
In FY2021, BHP signed a Memorandum of Cooperation to become one of six founding members of a new global hub for maritime decarbonisation and innovation based in Singapore. The Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation, which is intended to be funded by a S$10 million pledge from each of the founding members and a S$60 million contribution from Singapore’s Maritime and Port Authority (MPA), will bring together experts, industry and start-ups to share knowledge, build global capabilities and trial new fuels and technologies. We hope the Centre will create opportunities to achieve real reductions in the shipping industry’s carbon footprint.
First marine biofuel trial in Singapore
As part of a collaborative effort with German shipping company Oldendorff Carriers, advanced biofuels pioneer GoodFuels and Singapore’s MPA, in FY2021 we participated in the first marine biofuel trial involving an ocean-going vessel bunkered in Singapore. Biofuels are capable of reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 80 to 90 per cent well-to-exhaust (compared with conventional fuel) and use sustainable waste and residue streams as feedstock. The trial involved an ocean-going vessel – the dry bulk carrier Kira Oldendorff – which loaded coal from our Hay Point facility in Australia and made a bunkering pit stop in Singapore to refuel with ‘drop-in’ advanced biofuel blended with conventional fossil fuels. Modifications were made to the vessel to burn the biofuel blend efficiently while newly installed monitoring instruments captured trial data.
The aim of the trial was to understand the behaviour of the fuel (including emissions), assess engine and vessel operational performance and efficiency during the trial, and explore the technical and commercial implications of using biofuels as a maritime fuel.
World-first LNG-fueled tenders and supply agreements awarded
In late 2020, we awarded the world’s first liquified natural gas (LNG) Newcastlemax bulk carrier tender to Eastern Pacific Shipping and LNG supply agreements for fuelling these bulk carriers to Shell. The vessels will be used to carry iron ore between Western Australia and China for five years from 2022. Using LNG as fuel for the vessels is expected to virtually eliminate Sulfur Oxide (SOx) emissions and significantly reduce CO2 and Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) emissions in our value chain.
1 'Net zero' refers to
2 BHP-chartered and third party-chartered shipping.
3 Target excludes maritime transportation of products purchased by BHP.
4 We define carbon neutral as including all greenhouse gases.