Mining giant Anglo American has sent its new liquefied natural gas (LNG) dual-fuelled Capesize+ bulk carrier to sea with its first cargo.

The 190,000dwt vessel was loaded with its cargo of iron ore from the Anglo American Kumba operations in South Africa.

It is the first of ten LNG dual-fuelled newbuild ships that the company has ordered to add to its chartered fleet between 2023 and 2024.

Anglo American Group South Africa director Nolitha Fakude said: “The metals and minerals we provide play an important role in helping key industries decarbonise.

“Transporting them in a sustainable way is a key part of this effort and the introduction of the Ubuntu fleet – named after the Zulu word meaning ‘humanity to others’ – helps us accelerate our transition to sustainable ocean freight.”

Compared to ships fuelled by conventional marine oil fuel, the new fleet is expected to enable an estimated 35% reduction in CO₂ emissions.

As well as helping to avoid the release of unburnt methane, the use of LNG will also significantly cut down nitrogen oxides and particulate matter from vessel exhausts.

The Ubuntu fleet is anticipated to support Anglo American’s target of attaining carbon neutrality for its controlled ocean freight by 2040.

Its interim target is the reduction of emissions from these activities by 30% by 2030.

Anglo American’s Marketing business CEO Peter Whitcutt said: “We are proud to see the Ubuntu Harmony begin its voyage transporting future-enabling products from our mines to our customers around the world.

“This milestone cements our vision to be a leader in low carbon shipping, a natural extension of our commitment to achieve carbon neutrality across our operations by 2040.”