Woodside Energy, in collaboration with Rio Tinto and BHP are taking part in a joint study to assess the viability of using liquefied natural gas (LNG)-fuelled iron ore bulk carriers.
Led by international classification body DNV GL, the Joint Study Project also involves the Shanghai Merchant Design and Research Institute (SDARI) and Japanese shipping company Mitsui OSK Line.
Woodside CEO Peter Coleman said LNG will be an ideal alternative fuel following new regulations from the International Maritime Organisation that will limit the sulphur content in marine fuels from 2020.
He added that LNG will be used by bulk carriers on the ‘Green Corridor’ trade routes between Australia and China.
“Woodside has recently taken delivery of the first LNG-fuelled marine support vessel in the southern hemisphere, the Siem Thiima,” Coleman said.
“Following the successful introduction of this vessel into our operations, Woodside will assess the viability of further adoption of LNG-fuelling of our vessels.
“We think the trade routes from northern Western Australia are the perfect place to drive the transition to LNG as a marine fuel, with exporting industries in close proximity to world-class LNG supplies.”
LNG releases almost no sulphur, and its carbon emissions are around 25 per cent lower than diesel and 30 per cent lower than heavy fuel oil.