Japanese shipping major Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) has entered into an agreement with five parties to launch a joint study of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) fueled Capesize bulker.
The joint research project called “Green Corridor” aims to reduce merchant vessels’ emissions of NOX and SOX in advance of international treaties calling for stricter emissions standards, and will examine the technological and economic feasibility of an LNG-fueled bulker.
MOL said that the initiative on environmental protection, undertaken together with BHP Billiton, DNV GL, Rio Tinto, SDARI, Woodside, comes ahead of international rules.
A letter of agreement on the joint study was signed in Singapore on January 20.
SOX emissions from vessels are addressed in the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) Treaty Annex VI – prevention of air pollution, and vessels are required to use bunker fuel with a sulfur content of 0.1% or less in Emission Control Areas (ECAs) such as North America.
In general sea areas, all excluding ECAs, the treaty is expected to reduce the maximum sulfur content of bunker in use from the current standard 3.5% to 0.5% in 2020.
The regulation will be applied to vessels already in service.