Tag Archives: shipping

Anglo American tests out sustainable biofuel in shipping operations

Anglo American says it has successfully trialled the use of sustainable biofuel to power a chartered capesize ship during a voyage from Singapore to South Africa.

The biodiesel blend, produced by converting waste cooking oil from Singapore’s food and beverage industry, reduces carbon dioxide emissions compared with using 100% conventional marine fuel.

Peter Whitcutt, CEO of Anglo American’s Marketing business, said: “Low emission ocean freight is crucial in driving the long-term sustainability of the maritime industry. Shaping an effective transition requires a comprehensive framework of complementary solutions, in which alternative marine fuels have an important role to play.

“We are partnering with like-minded industry players to improve our understanding of factors likely to impact the future scalability of this solution. The success of this trial marks an important step forward in establishing biofuel as a viable option, aligned with circular economic principles. These efforts also reinforce our commitment as an organisation to reduce emissions across the entire value chain, as we work towards carbon neutrality across our operations by 2040.”

The trial conducted onboard the ‘Frontier Jacaranda’, a capesize bulk carrier owned by Japanese shipping company NYK Line, was instrumental in verifying the stability of the biofuel in storage and its performance as a fuel, Anglo said.

Data gathered is providing new insights into wider efforts to introduce biofuel to the maritime sector, paving the way to improving its cost-effectiveness and using higher percentage blends in future trials, the company added. The conversion of waste cooking oil into fuel for transportation aligns with the principles of the circular economy, by providing a fresh and environmentally beneficial use for what would otherwise be disposed of.

Toyota Tsusho Petroleum supplied the biodiesel blend, consisting of 7% biofuel and 93% regular fuel. This combination reduces carbon dioxide emissions by around 5%, is compliant with the International Standard Organisation’s requirement for marine fuels and requires no substantial engine modifications, according to the company.

Anglo American partnered with Singapore firm Alpha Biofuels, which converts waste cooking oil into biofuel, to blend this sustainable biodiesel via shore tanks in Singapore.

Anglo is investigating several ways through which to reduce carbon intensity in its ocean freight operations, including the use of ammonia as an alternative marine fuel, as well as adding capesize+ vessels into its chartered fleet fuelled by LNG which reduces CO2 emissions by approximately 35%.

Rio Tinto cements new Singapore-Western Australia freight shipping route

Rio Tinto says it has secured a new commercial freight shipping service connecting Western Australia’s Pilbara region to the major international shipping hub of Singapore.

The service will provide the company with a quicker, cheaper and cleaner alternative to the existing freight delivery route via Perth, helping to drive regional economic development and local job creation, according to the miner.

The regular freight service commenced with the arrival of the MCP Graz at the Port of Dampier from Singapore today. The vessel delivered essential maintenance supplies for Rio Tinto Iron Ore’s operations in the Pilbara, including rail wagon wheels, wagon parts, oil and lubricants. Future shipments are expected to include tyres for heavy earth moving equipment, conveyor belts, rail wagon and locomotive parts and mining consumables.

The service is also open for use by local businesses in the northwest of Australia, providing companies operating in the region with better access to international markets and more efficient movement of freight, Rio said.

Rio Tinto Iron Ore Managing Director of Port, Rail and Core Services, Richard Cohen, said: “This is an important new service that connects the Pilbara to the rest of the world via the major international shipping hub of Singapore. It will provide a number of benefits by delivering cheaper, cleaner and faster freight to the region.

“It is an important breakthrough not only for our business, but it will also provide a great opportunity for the local Pilbara economy by helping to unlock small business growth and supporting job creation.”

Rio Tinto expects the service to reduce the lead time for goods in to the Pilbara by six to 10 days compared with freight via Fremantle. Additionally, it is expected to provide an annual saving of around three million litres of diesel fuel by reducing road train travel from Perth by more than 3.8 million kilometres.

Over time, Rio Tinto is hopeful more than 50% of its freight requirements to the Pilbara will use this service, increasing the speed of delivery and lowering costs. The vessel capacity of the freight service will be 350 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent) with Toll Global Forwarding (a division of Toll Group) and other freight forwarders offering a service for smaller volumes on the vessel, the company said.

Peter Stokes, President of Global Logistics for Toll Group, said: “This dedicated container vessel service from Singapore to Dampier will enable enormous possibilities to deliver more efficient supply chains to the Pilbara region.

“Toll Group is heavily invested in the north of Western Australia and is one of the largest employers in the Pilbara region. We are proud to be partnering with Rio Tinto on this landmark project which will provide businesses in the north with a significant opportunity to access international imports and exports.”

Viva Energy, the supplier of fuels and lubricants and supply partner to Rio Tinto, expects to reduce its road transport travel by 350,000 km/y through use of the new service.

Viva Energy Sales Manager, Gavin Syminton, said: “Over and above any commercial benefits, there are also a number of other positive aspects to the initiative including increased opportunities for local employment through infrastructure investment, the reduction of our carbon footprint and a shorter, more efficient supply chain.

“As we continue to work closely with Rio Tinto, we hope to further connect our business and community through this opportunity while making the region a more sustainable place to live.”

Liebherr-Mining cuts emissions, costs with new equipment transport route

Each year, about 1,000 so-called “exceptional” trucks are needed to transport the mining machines assembled by Liebherr-Mining Equipment Colmar SAS to the Belgian seaports to join mine sites around the world in the likes of Australia, Africa and Asia.

In June 2019, the company challenged itself to shift the pre-haulage to the seaports from road to river and, after 18 months of experimentation, the ecological and economical results have proven very positive, with the company deciding to pursue its efforts.

Before starting this project, Liebherr-Mining conducted an in-depth study on the modal shift, 50% financed by Voies Navigables de France (VNF – Inland waterway association) Strasbourg and with the help of an international consulting company. This funding is part of PARM (assistance plan for modal shifts) piloted by VNF and intended to support companies wishing to move to river transport.

Established in Colmar for almost 60 years, the company decided to contribute to the development and competitiveness of the region by working with local firms. Thus, the pre-haulage from the factory to the Rhine port was entrusted to the two Alsatian carriers Straumann (Colmar) and Wack (Obernai and Drulingen). The barging company is Haeger & Schmidt Logistics.

One of the first positive aspects of river transport is the reduction of environmental footprint. For the same amount of goods transported, a barge will consume three to four times less energy than a truck and emit up to five times less CO2, the company claims

By reducing road traffic, noise pollution is also reduced because river transport is a quieter mode of transport.

Over the 18 month trial, Liebherr-Mining Equipment Colmar shipped 148 machines/1,600 packages, or 27,000 t, spread over 60 barges. For the environment, this represented a saving of 800,000 km on the road and 868,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

River transportation comes with numerous other advantages. With an almost zero accident rate, the river is a safe mode of transport – the absence of traffic saturation and the presence of loading software guarantee the perfect stability of the boats, Liebherr says.

In terms of deadlines, a machine ready for dispatch on Friday morning can be at the seaport (Antwerp or Zeebrugge) on Monday morning. For many types of goods, if the flow is industrialised and if the company commits to a forecast volume, river transport is also a less expensive solution. Liebherr in Colmar was able to save money thanks to river transport.

This pre-haulage strategy initiated by the mining division has opened up a new path in the Liebherr Group. Other factories in the group are now studying the possibility of following the same path, the company says.

Shell to supply BHP’s LNG-fuelled Newcastlemax bulk carriers

BHP says it has awarded its first LNG supply agreement for five LNG-fuelled Newcastlemax bulk carriers, which will transport iron ore between Western Australia and China from 2022.

Shell has been awarded the contract to fuel the vessels, which BHP will charter from Eastern Pacific Shipping for a five-year term as part of a previously announced arrangement confirmed in September.

BHP Chief Commercial Officer, Vandita Pant, said: “The LNG bunkering contract marks a significant step in how BHP is working with our suppliers to reduce emissions across the maritime supply chain.

“LNG fuelled vessels are forecast to help BHP reduce CO2-e emissions by 30% on a per voyage basis compared to a conventional fuelled voyage between Western Australia and China, and contribute to our 2030 goal to support 40% emissions intensity reduction of BHP-chartered shipping of our products.”

Steve Hill, Executive Vice President, Shell Energy, said: “I would like to congratulate BHP on reducing emissions in their maritime supply chain with the world’s first LNG-fuelled Newcastlemax bulk carriers. Decarbonisation of the shipping industry must begin today and LNG is the cleanest fuel currently available in meaningful volumes.

“This LNG bunkering contract strengthens the bunkering market in the region and we look forward to working with BHP and other customers in the maritime sector on their journey to a net-zero emissions future.”

The contract is the result of a tender process that included potential suppliers across several geographies. Technical capability, available infrastructure and cost competitiveness were among the stringent criteria.

LNG bunkering – the process of fuelling ships with LNG – will take place through the first LNG bunker vessel in Singapore, ‘FueLNG Bellina’. The vessel is operated by FueLNG, a joint venture between Shell Eastern Petroleum and Keppel Offshore & Marine. The bunker vessel will be able to bunker fuel at a rate of 100-1,000 cu.m/h.

“The LNG bunkering contract will enable BHP to manage fuel supply risk, build LNG operational capability internally, and also help to strengthen the emerging LNG bunkering market in the region,” Pant said. “This contract is expected to form up to 10% of forecasted Asian LNG bunker demand in FY2023 (financial year 2023).”

Anglo American to introduce LNG into iron ore chartering fleet

Anglo American has announced the award of a 10-year charter contract for four LNG fuelled capesize-plus vessels, introducing LNG into its chartered fleet for the first time.

The new build LNG vessels offer significant environmental benefits, including a circa-35% cut in CO2 emissions compared with standard marine fuel, while also using new technology to eliminate the release of unburnt methane, or so-called “methane slip”, the company said.

Peter Whitcutt, CEO of Anglo American’s Marketing business, said: “Anglo American is committed to reducing emissions from its ocean freight operations and to playing a leading role in shaping a more sustainable future for the maritime industry. Today’s agreement is aligned with Anglo American’s goal to be carbon neutral across our operations by 2040 – as we work to reduce emissions not only at our production sites but also along our entire value chain – and builds on our track record of implementing concrete actions to deliver on the targets set by the International Maritime Organisation’s 2018 strategy.

“LNG is a readily available, commercially viable, lower emission solution which, combined with innovative technology designed to eliminate unburnt methane, will allow these new builds to provide a much improved environmental and more efficient performance.”

LNG marine fuel offers significant environmental advantages over heavy fuel oil – the most widely used fuel by vessels operating along sea trade routes – and is abundantly available through an established global network of existing infrastructure, according to Anglo American. Compared with conventional fuel options, the use of LNG eliminates sulphur oxides, considerably reduces nitrogen oxides and particulate matter from vessel exhausts and, as mentioned, cuts CO2 emissions by around 35%.

Designed to be larger than, but remain as flexible as, a conventional capesize vessel, the new builds will optimise cargo transport by increasing load and improving overall cost effectiveness. U-Ming Marine Transport will own the newly designed 190,000 DWT LNG fuelled bulk carriers. The fleet will be built by Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding in China and is expected to be delivered in 2023.

The fleet is expected to carry up to 5 Mt/y of product, transporting iron ore from Anglo American’s operations in Brazil and South Africa to the company’s global customer base. The new builds will be flagged and registered in Singapore, which will also serve as prime bunkering port, thereby avoiding deviations from trading routes for refuelling purposes, the company said.

Earlier in October, Anglo American was among the founding signatories of the Sea Cargo Charter – created by some of the world’s largest energy, agriculture, mining, and commodity trading companies, with the aim of establishing a standard methodology and reporting framework to allow charterers to measure and align their emissions from ocean transportation activities.

Venture Minerals takes ‘one-stop shop’ approach at Riley with Qube agreement

Venture Minerals has awarded bulk material handling services company, Qube, with preferred road haulage tenderer status for the Riley iron mine, in Tasmania, Australia.

Alongside this, Venture has also engaged Qube to provide the necessary Burnie Port Services to complete the logistics solution of delivering iron ore from Riley to on board the ship.

Venture said: “Securing Qube as the complete ore transport provider for the Riley iron ore mine will increase the efficiencies for one of the project’s key cost centres as the company progresses towards becoming the next Australian iron ore producer.”

Recently, Venture Minerals commenced dry screening operations at Riley as part of the ramp-up phase of the project. Full production is expected to occur upon successful commissioning of the wet processing plant, which is subject to financing, the company said.

At a $90/t 62% iron ore price, an August 2019 feasibility study on the project returned a post-tax cash surplus of A$31 million ($23 million) over the two-year production life of the mine.

Andrew Radonjic, Venture Minerals’ Managing Director, said: “Venture is fortunate to be working with Australia’s leading provider of bulk material handling services to provide a complete logistics solution in delivering Riley iron ore from the mine gate to the port and then on board ship. This one-stop shop approach will increase efficiencies and reduce costs which is all important when mining bulk commodities.”

He added: “Qube is a professional logistics company with modern, well managed vehicles and trained, professional drivers. Qube’s safety record was also an important part of our selection criteria and their real-time monitoring of vehicle movements is impressive.”

Port Hedland’s iron ore export capacity receives ‘potential’ boost

One of the world’s largest ports for iron ore exports, Port Hedland, in Western Australia, has had its  potential shipping capacity increased by 40 Mt/y.

The additional capacity, which was a result of Western Australia Government and industry investment at the port, will see Port Hedland’s potential shipping capacity go from 577 Mt/y to 617 Mt/y, a 6.9% increase.

Annual capacity allocations for each port user will remain the same, according to a media statement from Western Australia Ports Minister, Alannah MacTiernan. However, the increased capacity will allow all port users more capacity above their allocated tonnages by accessing D‑class shipping opportunities under the Port Hedland Vessel Movement Protocols.

Investments at the port to facilitate this new capacity modelling by the Pilbara Ports Authority included capital dredging, innovative marine technology and other port efficiencies, according to the statement.

This includes the recently completed three-year dredging works program, the Channel Risk and Optimisation Project. The A$120 million ($81 million) project included the removal of “high spots” in the channel, optimising navigable depths to allow deeper drafted vessels to safely navigate along the 42 km shipping channel.

Also driving this increase is the continued movement and facilitation of larger vessels in the channel. The sizes of ships coming into Port Hedland have increased significantly in recent years, with 45% of vessels now carrying more than 200,000 deadweight tonnage, compared with less than 10% in 2009, according to the Pilbara Ports Authority. Much of this increase can be put down to bigger vessels carrying iron ore from Port Hedland to Asia and elsewhere.

In August, Port Hedland achieved a monthly throughput of 46.1 Mt, of which 45.4 Mt was iron ore exports. The monthly throughput was a 7% increase from August 2018, according to the Pilbara Ports Authority.

BHP looks to LNG for lower iron ore shipping emissions

BHP, as part of its goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across its operations, has released the world’s first bulk carrier tender for LNG-fuelled transport for up to 27 Mt of its iron ore.

The company said: “Introducing LNG-fuelled ships into BHP’s maritime supply chain will eliminate nitrogen oxide (NOx) and sulphur oxide (SOx) emissions and significantly reduce CO2 emissions along the busiest bulk transport route globally.”

BHP, as part of its greenhouse gas emission reduction plans, recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Mitsubishi Development to work together in the pursuit of emissions reductions, including from the life-cycle use of marketed products.

Rashpal Bhatti, Vice President, Maritime and Supply Chain Excellence, BHP, said emissions resulting from the transportation and distribution of the company’s products represented a material source of its value chain emissions (Scope 3).

“We recognise we have a stewardship role, working with our customers, suppliers and others to influence emissions reductions across the full life cycle of our products,” Bhatti said. “Through this tender, we are seeking potential partners who share our ambition of lowering emissions to the maritime supply chain.”

The tender is open to a select group of industry leaders, from ship owners, banks and LNG fuel network providers, BHP said. “As well as LNG-fuelled transport for up to 10% of its iron ore, the tender seeks other innovative solutions that can lower greenhouse gas emissions and increase productivity from BHP’s freight requirements.”

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.”

The IMO ruled from January 1, 2020, that the marine sector will have to reduce sulphur emissions by over 80% by switching to lower sulphur fuels, with the current maximum fuel oil sulphur limit of 3.5 weight percent (wt%) falling to 0.5 wt%.

As well as investments in emerging technologies, BHP sets greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets for its operations, builds the resilience of its operations and communities to the physical impacts of climate change, and works across sectors to strengthen the global policy and market response, the company said.

EGA and Maersk extend aluminium shipping relationship

Emirates Global Aluminium says it has signed a volume commitment extension agreement for 2019 with the global shipping company A.P. Moller – Maersk for transport of its aluminium to customers around the world.

EGA exports its metal to customers in more than 60 countries worldwide and makes more than 11,000 shipments each year using over 100,000 containers. EGA’s aluminium is the biggest made-in-the-UAE export after oil and gas, according to the company.

The company said: “EGA works with 20 different shipping lines to ship its products, transporting metal to over 70 global ports. Maersk is one of EGA’s most significant shipping partners, and has supplied shipping services to the UAE aluminium giant since 1992.”

Walid Al Attar (right), EGA’s Chief Marketing Officer, said: “Meeting our customers’ expectations depends on both the quality of our production and the efficiency of getting the metal to them, so I am pleased to sign this agreement today with one of our most important shipping partners, Maersk.”

Christopher Cook (left), Managing Director for Maersk in UAE, Oman and Qatar, said: “As the global integrator of container logistics, this agreement enables us to continue to partner with EGA to ensure their aluminium reaches their customers as fast and as cost-effectively as possible.”