POSCO CEO, Jeong-Woo Choi, has announced that the company’s new LNG-fuelled bulk carrier for overseas raw material transport has successfully completed its first voyage, marking the start of its ‘eco-friendly’ operations.
On 20 January, the vessel, HL Green, an eco-friendly vessel that departed Mokpo, South Korea, last December, arrived at Gwangyang Works loaded with 180 000 t of iron ore from Australia.
HL Green is 292 m long, 45 m wide, and has a deck height of 24.8 m, making it the world’s largest 180 000 t LNG-powered vessel. The use of LNG fuel can help reduce critical air pollutants sulfur oxides (SOx) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) by 99% and 85%, respectively, compared to conventional bunker fuel-powered vessels.
This case is the first in the world where a bulk carrier utilising LNG fuel successfully completed an overseas trip.
With IMO 2020 regulation, sulfur oxides emitted from ships have to be reduced from the previous 3.5% or less to 0.5% or less. Hence, all ships are now required to either use LNG or low sulfur fuel or install exhaust gas cleaning systems.
In December 2018, before the international regulations were imposed, POSCO, together with H-Line Shipping Co., LTD., decided to pre-emptively replace two of its existing raw material carriers with LNG-powered vessels. Following its completion last December, HL Green had finally made a successful first trip.
Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. was in charge of the design and construction of the two LNG-powered vessels. POSCO supplied steel plates for the ships’ bodies and 9% nickel steel as cryogenic materials for the fuel tanks. Previously, domestic shipbuilders had to depend on imports for 9% nickel steel, so it has contributed to improving the competitiveness of eco-friendly domestic ships.
In addition, POSCO practiced shared growth by promising stable cargo quantity through a long-term contract with a shipping company H-Line Shipping Co., LTD., which hesitated to utilise LNG-powered vessels because of the lack of LNG bunkering infrastructure.
Other than the two LNG-powered vessels, POSCO has installed exhaust gas cleaning systems on 21 out of 38 overseas raw material carriers. The remaining ships will be replaced with eco-friendly ships, including LNG-powered ones, by cooperating with shipping companies and ship makers.
Meanwhile, on 26 January, another eco-friendly vessel, HL Eco, which was constructed with HL Green, arrived at Gwangyang Works loaded with coal from Australia.