Above: China's Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding built the vessel for Anglo American (image credit: SWS)
Anglo American announces that its newly launched LNG dual-fuelled Capesize+ vessel, the Ubuntu Harmony, has loaded its first cargo of iron ore from its Kumba operations in South Africa.
The vessel is the first of ten LNG dual-fuelled new-build ships that Anglo American will introduce to its chartered fleet during the course of 2023 and 2024, delivering an estimated 35% reduction in CO2 emissions compared to ships fuelled by conventional marine oil fuel. The use of LNG will also lead to a significant reduction of nitrogen oxides and particulate matter from vessel exhausts, while new technology also eliminates the release of unburnt methane.
The Ubuntu fleet is a key component of Anglo American’s ambition to achieve carbon-neutrality for its controlled ocean freight by 2040 – with an interim target to reduce emissions from these activities by 30% by 2030 – all part of Anglo American’s wider ambition to halve Scope 3 emissions by 2040.
Peter Whitcutt, CEO of Anglo American’s Marketing business, said: “We are proud to see the Ubuntu Harmony begin its voyage transporting future-enabling products from our mines to our customers around the world. This milestone cements our vision to be a leader in low carbon shipping, a natural extension of our commitment to achieve carbon neutrality across our operations by 2040.”
Nolitha Fakude, Group Director of Anglo American for South Africa, said: “The metals and minerals we provide play an important role in helping key industries decarbonise. Transporting them in a sustainable way is a key part of this effort and the introduction of the Ubuntu fleet – named after the Zulu word meaning ‘humanity to others’ – helps us accelerate our transition to sustainable ocean freight.”
Anglo American has established a comprehensive framework of initiatives for the decarbonisation of its maritime activities, including energy saving devices fitted to existing vessels, the use of voyage optimisation software, and a focus on exploring, trialling and adopting alternative, sustainable fuel options – such as LNG, sustainable biofuel, green methanol and ammonia, and – further down the line – hydrogen.
The Ubuntu Harmony is a 190,000 tonne bulk carrier, flagged in Singapore – the first such LNG dual- fuelled vessel on the country’s register – and is designed to be larger than, but as flexible as, a conventional Capesize vessel. The Ubuntu Harmony was built by Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding and is owned by U-Ming Marine Transport.
The vessel completed bunkering in Singapore in early January with LNG provided by Shell Eastern LNG. It arrived in Saldanha Bay, South Africa on 19 January to load a full cargo of iron ore that will be transported to customers in China. The Ubuntu Harmony will be followed by its sister ship Ubuntu Equality, the fleet’s second vessel, which is expected to load her first cargo in February in South Africa.
Anglo American is a leading global mining company and our products are the essential ingredients in almost every aspect of modern life. Our portfolio of world-class competitive operations, with a broad range of future development options, provides many of the future-enabling metals and minerals for a cleaner, greener, more sustainable world and that meet the fast growing every day demands of billions of consumers. With our people at the heart of our business, we use innovative practices and the latest technologies to discover new resources and to mine, process, move and market our products to our customers – safely and sustainably.
As a responsible producer of diamonds (through De Beers), copper, platinum group metals, premium quality iron ore and steelmaking coal, and nickel – with crop nutrients in development – we are committed to being carbon neutral across our operations by 2040. More broadly, our Sustainable Mining Plan commits us to a series of stretching goals to ensure we work towards a healthy environment, creating thriving communities and building trust as a corporate leader. We work together with our business partners and diverse stakeholders to unlock enduring value from precious natural resources for the benefit of the communities and countries in which we operate, for society as a whole, and for our shareholders. Anglo American is re-imagining mining to improve people’s lives.