BHP, PPC and Norsepower partner for combi carrier rotor sail retrofit

Written by Nick Blenkey
Vessel to be fitted with rotor sail

A Norsepower rotor sail with a tilting foundation, will replace one of the deck cranes in a first-of-its-kind installation onboard M/V Koryu

Mining giant BHP is partnering with Pan Pacific Copper and Norsepower to retrofit a tilting rotor sail on a 53,762 dwt combination carrier. The aim is to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from maritime transportation between BHP’s mines in Chile and PPC’s smelters in Japan.

BHP and PPC, a member of JX Nippon Mining & Metals group, have multi-year agreements for delivery of copper concentrates from Chile to Japan as well as sulfuric acid from Japan to Chile. The combi carrier used on that route, the 2013-built, Marshall Islands flagged M/V Koryu, has one of the highest cargo capacity utilizations in the industry. It is operated by Nippon Marine – a member of the SENKO group in which JX Nippon Mining & Metals has a 40% stake.

Installation of the Norsepower rotor sail is scheduled for completion by the third quarter of 2023 and is expected to make M/V Koryu the cleanest vessel in its category when measured for GHG emissions intensity.


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

“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,” said Norsepower’s CSO, Jukka Kuuskoski. “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.”

This latest partnership with PPC and Norsepower follows BHP’s collaboration agreements on maritime decarbonization segment that include the first marine biofuel trial involving an ocean-going vessel bunkered in Singapore, taking delivery of the first of five LNG-fueled Newcastlemax bulk carriers and joining a consortium to assess the development of an iron ore Green Corridor between Australia and East Asia. BHP is also a founding member of the Global Maritime Decarbonization Center in Singapore.

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