EPS awarded five-year BHP tender for dual-fuel Newcastlemaxes

Eastern Pacific Shipping selected a ME-GI engine for its LNG-fuelled boxships. (Photo credit: MAN ES).Eastern Pacific Shipping selected a ME-GI engine for its LNG-fuelled boxships. (Photo credit: MAN ES).

Singapore-based ship operator Eastern Pacific Shipping (EPS) has signed a long-term charter for five LNG-fuelled Newcastlemaxes with BHP, the mining company.

The five-year time charter covers the carriage of iron ore between Western Australia and China from 2022. It represents the conclusion of a tender for LNG-fuelled vessels launched by BHP in 2019.

According to an EPS statement published on their website, the five 209,000 dwt Capesize vessels will be powered by MAN Energy Solutions’ dual-fuel ME-GI engines.

However, a MAN ES representative declined to confirm the order when contacted by The Motorship on Friday.

With main dimensions of 300m length, 50m breadth and 18.40m draught, the vessels meet the port accessibility requirements for the Pilbara’s ports, while boasting a load capacity of 222,000m3.

BHP Chief Commercial Officer, Vandita Pant, noted the vessels would virtually eliminate SOx emissions and significantly reduce CO2 and NOx emissions. The vessels will result in a 30 percent reduction in emissions, measured on a CO2-equivalent per voyage basis, compared with conventional fuel along the Western Australia to China route.

EPS CEO Cyril Ducau commented that “when the vessels are delivered in 2022, they will be the cleanest and the most efficient in the entire dry bulk shipping fleet and will be IMO 2030 compliant eight years ahead of schedule.”

Meanwhile, EPS noted the LNG bunkering supply contract is expected to be awarded in October 2020. The Pilbara Port Authority has already awarded Australian natural gas producer Woodside a licence to provide ship-to-ship LNG bunkering services at the ports of Port Hedland and Dampier.

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