Project partners include the companies BHP, Fortescue, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL), Rio Tinto, SDARI, U-Ming, Woodside, and DNV GL.

Chinese ship designer SDARI developed the design of the 210,000 dwt Newcastlemax bulk carrier based on their  energy efficient Green Dolphin design. Dual fuel engines were quickly decided upon by the JIP partners, as this is a mature technology with multiple suppliers offering solutions, and the dual fuel design providing operational redundancy.

Based on fuel consumption analyses an LNG fuel tank size of approximately 6000 m3 was found to be optimal, with bunkering in Australia for the round-trip. Several locations for the LNG fuel tank were considered, and finally the optimal solution was found – with the two LNG fuel tanks placed directly above the engine room and submerged a few metres below the main deck. This innovative design offers protection for the fuel tanks, enhances fire protection, and does not reduce the cargo carrying capacity, even for volumetric cargoes such as coal.

“We hope this mutual collaboration will contribute to building the positive momentum of the industry to meet environmental and social requirements. We would like to renew our commitment to promote the further development of environmental technologies to achieve more sustainable ocean transportation,” said Toshiaki Tanaka, Managing Executive Officer, Director General, Dry Bulk Business Unit from Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd.

“An important part of the JIP was conducting the financial feasibility study for the design,” said Mike Utsler, Woodside Chief Operations Officer. “We looked at a wide range of capital and operational costs, including LNG and low sulfur fuel oil price sensitivities, as well as conducting a high-level bunker supply chain assessment. Based on this we found that, under the most realistic scenario, the payback period for the design was under 10 years, and under the optimistic projection just 6.7 years.”

The new, innovative Newcastlemax design developed in the “Green Corridor” JIP is expected to offer unique solutions for cost efficient, safe and flexible operations.