BHP, Pan Pacific Copper and Norsepower partner for wind-assisted vessel propulsion

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A partnership has been formed between BHP, Pan Pacific Copper (PPC) – a member of JX Nippon Mining & Metals group – and Norsepower, a provider of auxiliary wind propulsion systems.

The group’s aim is to reduce the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions produced by maritime transportation from BHP’s mines in Chile and PPC’s smelters in Japan. At present, the partners are carrying out a technical assessment, and are planning to retrofit Norsepower’s wind-assisted propulsion system on board the M/V Koryu, a combination carrier operated by Nippon Marine.

Norsepower’s Rotor Sails installation consists of a push-button wind propulsion system which is estimated to be approximately 10 times more efficient than conventional sails. The installation is scheduled for completion by the third quarter of 2023 and is estimated to make the M/V Koryu vessel the cleanest of its type when measured for GHG emissions intensity.

Described as modernized versions of Flettner rotors, Norsepower’s technology is based on the Magnus effect which harnesses wind power to maximize ship fuel efficiency. When a sufficient amount of wind is available, the Rotor Sails enable a vessel’s main engine to be throttled back. This is turn saves fuel and reduces the ship’s emissions.

“Identifying and implementing innovative and sustainable solutions through our strong commodity and supply chain partnerships remain essential in supporting BHP’s decarbonization ambitions,” said Vandita Pant, chief commercial officer, BHP. “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.”

“PPC and BHP has been sharing the mission to accelerate the activities for decarbonization in line with our respective climate targets and goals,” commented Kazuhiro Hori, PPC president and deputy chief executive officer, JX Nippon Mining & Metals. “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.”

“Our vision is to set the standard in bringing sailing back to shipping, and empower the maritime industry towards reaching the goal of zero carbon emissions,” added Jukka Kuuskoski, CSO, Norsepower. “As fuel prices increase and a carbon levy is initiated, investing in technologies which have proven emissions reductions and fuel savings is essential for long-term commercial success. Working with BHP, PPC and Nippon Marine demonstrates the increased commitment to greener operations, particularly within the bulk carrier market. We look forward to completing the installation and seeing the results.”

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After spending six years working as a mechanic for various motorsport and high-end performance car companies, Callum joined UKi Media & Events in February 2020 as an assistant editor. In this role he uses his vast practical knowledge and passion for automotive to produce informative news pieces for multiple vehicle-related sectors.

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