BHP, Pan Pacific Copper And Norsepower Partner To Harness The Power Of Wind-Assisted Propulsion

BHP has partnered with Pan Pacific Copper (PPC), a member of JX Nippon Mining & Metals group, and Norsepower, the leading global provider of auxiliary wind propulsion systems, to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from maritime transportation between BHP’s mines in Chile and PPC’s smelters in Japan. The parties are conducting a technical assessment and plan a retrofit installation of wind-assisted propulsion system onboard the M/V Koryu, a combination carrier operated by Nippon Marine – a member of SENKO group (shares held by SENKO 60%, JX Nippon Mining & Metals 40%).

BHP and PPC have multi-year agreements for delivery of copper concentrates from Chile to Japan as well as sulphuric acid from Japan to Chile, making the cargo capacity utilization of M/V Koryu (a 53,762 deadweight tonne combination carrier) one of the highest in the industry.

Wind-Assisted Propulsion
Norsepower’s Rotor Sail, with a tilting foundation, will replace one of the deck cranes in a first-of-its-kind installation onboard MV Koryu

Norsepower’s Rotor Sails installation – a “push-button wind propulsion” system and estimated to be around ten times more efficient than a conventional sail that requires no reefing or crew attention when in operation – is scheduled for completion by the third quarter of 2023, which is expected to make M/V Koryu the cleanest vessel in its category when measured for GHG emissions intensity.

Norsepower’s Rotor Sails are modernized versions of Flettner rotors, and the technology is based on the Magnus effect that harnesses wind to maximize ship fuel efficiency. When wind conditions are favorable, Rotor Sails allow the main engines to be throttled back, saving fuel and reducing emissions, while also reducing power needed to maintain speed and voyage time.

BHP’s Chief Commercial Officer, Vandita Pant, said: “Identifying and implementing innovative and sustainable solutions through our strong commodity and supply chain partnerships remain essential in supporting BHP’s decarbonisation ambitions. We look forward to working with PPC on the wind-assisted propulsion system to enable further GHG emissions reduction in our supply chain and add to the already strong partnership between BHP and PPC.”

JX Nippon Mining & Metals’ Deputy Chief Executive Officer / PPC President, Kazuhiro Hori said: “PPC and BHP has been sharing the mission to accelerate the activities for decarbonization in line with our respective climate targets and goals. The Koryu project is a good example of our collaboration and valuable step that proves eagerness by both companies to establish ecosystem partnerships to take on the climate challenge. We are looking forward to further developing the partnership with BHP in various areas.”

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