Brokers: Eastern Pacific brings its ammonia-powered bulker tally at Qindao Beihai to 10

Eastern Pacific Shipping (EPS), a Singaporean shipping company, has placed an order for four 210,000 deadweight tonnage (dwt) bulk carriers featuring ammonia dual fuel propulsion technology, according to reports from Intermodal Shipbrokers.

Illustration; Image credit CSSC

The ships are slated for construction at Qindao Beihai Shipbuilding Heavy Industry, China, with expected delivery between 2026-2027.

With the latest contract, Qindao Beihai has secured orders to construct ten 210,000 dwt ammonia dual-fuel bulkers for EPS.

The reported order comes on the heels of a deal struck back in October 2023 when Idan Ofer-led company declared options for three ammonia-powered Newcastlemaxes at the yard bringing the total ordering tally to six.

The first three units were ordered in September as confirmed by China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC). The dual-fuel bulkers are designed in compliance with the rigorous Phase III requirements of the ship energy efficiency design index (EEDI).

Additionally, the carriers are strategically engineered to adapt to ammonia as a marine fuel. Future-proofing measures include provisions for integrating advanced ammonia-fueled main engines and 3,000-cubic-meter ammonia fuel C-type tanks, aligning with the company’s commitment to a sustainable and “zero carbon” operational lifecycle.

The shipping company has demonstrated a significant vote of confidence in ammonia as a sustainable marine fuel and also a source of clean energy.

In the backdrop of Eastern Pacific Shipping’s recent contract is also a deal with China’s Jiangnan Shipbuilding for two 93,000 cubic meters (cbm) liquid ammonia carriers, set to be the world’s largest based on their carrying capacity. The VLACs will be built by Jiangnan Shipbuilding as part of a series of six units of the same size.

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Data from Eastern Pacific from 2023 shows that the company has 80 ships on order and 220 managed vessels in its fleet. Since 2018, the company has invested $1.8 billion across 14 decarbonization projects and anticipates that these investments will eliminate 10 million tons of CO2 emissions over the life of the vessels.

These projects include dual fuel propulsion, carbon capture, biofuels, and voyage optimization technology.

In 2022, EPS teamed up with Rotterdam-based Value Maritime to install carbon capture and filtering systems onboard a pair of EPS-managed MR tankers.

In early 2023, EPS announced the successful installation of Value Maritime’s (VM) Filtree system onboard its managed vessel M/T Pacific Cobalt. The Filtree system filters sulphur and 99% of particulate matter and includes VM’s Carbon Capture & Storage (CCS) module that can capture up to 40% of CO2 emissions from the vessel’s main and auxiliary engines.

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“These investments have already allowed us to reach an AER of 4.1 in 2022, a 20% reduction over the past seven years,” Cyril Ducau, CEO, Eastern Pacific Shipping, said recently.

“Seventy-four of our 220 managed vessels on order and on water are powered by dual-fuel technology. LNG, LPG, and Ethane will continue to be used for years and will bridge us to the next generation of green fuels like ammonia. Many other alternative marine fuels discussed in the headlines are outliers and will need large-scale investments and the right economic conditions to become viable. The current production of these outlier fuels is barely enough for shipping today and might more efficiently be used to decarbonize other industries, such as steel production or power generation.”