BHP has floated a bulk carrier tender for LNG-fuelled vessels to transport its iron ore, cutting greenhouse gas emissions across its operations.

The LNG-fuelled carriers will haul up to 10% of the Anglo-Australian miner’s iron ore, which equates to approximately 27 million tonnes.

The company hopes that introducing these ships will eliminate emissions of nitrogen oxide and sulphur oxide, while considerably reducing CO₂ emissions.

BHP’s maritime and supply chain excellence vice-president Rashpal Bhatti recognised that emissions emanating from the transportation and distribution of BHP’s products represented a material source of its value chain emissions.

He said: “We recognise we have a stewardship role, working with our customers, suppliers and others to influence emissions reductions across the full lifecycle of our products.

“Through this tender, we are seeking potential partners who share our ambition of lowering emissions to the maritime supply chain.”

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The tender has been opened up to a select group of industry leaders, including ship owners, banks and LNG fuel network providers.

Bhatti added: “We are fully supportive of the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) decision to impose lower limits on sulphur levels in marine fuels.

“While LNG may not be the sustainable homogenous fuel of choice for a zero-carbon future, we are not prepared to wait for a 100% compliant solution if we know that, together with our partners, we can make significant progress now.”

“This new tender adds to the work BHP is doing with customers, suppliers and parties along our value chain to influence emissions reductions from the transport and use of our products.”

Last month, BHP signed an agreement with Mitsubishi Development to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including from the life-cycle use of marketed products.

The partners said they are reviewing opportunities to undertake research and pilot new ideas, as well as developing and deploying new emissions reduction technologies.