Maritime, miners industry team up for Australia-East Asia iron ore green corridor

A consortium, led by the Global Maritime Forum, is planning to assess the development of an iron ore green corridor between Australia and East Asia in an effort to decarbonise the maritime sector.

Global Maritime Forum

On 6 April, the consortium led by the Global Maritime Forum and comprising resources company BHP, mining company Rio Tinto, and dry bulk shipping companies Oldendorff Carriers and Star Bulk Carriers Corp., signed a letter of intent (LOI) to support the development of the Australia-East Asia iron ore green corridor.

Seen as a way to simplify maritime decarbonisation, green corridors are specific shipping routes where the economics, infrastructure, and logistics of zero- or near-zero emission shipping are more feasible and rapid deployment can be supported by targeted policy and industry action.

Last year, the Getting to Zero Coalition report The Next Wave demonstrated how green corridors can be conceived, prioritised, and designed with a pre-feasibility study for an iron ore route between Australia and East Asia.

The study suggested that green ammonia is the likely fuel choice for this corridor based on favourable production conditions, an enabling regulatory environment and willing stakeholders.

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Now, the consortium partners intend to take the study further and jointly assess green ammonia supply, bunkering and first-mover support mechanisms, necessary for their participation in a viable Australia to East Asia iron ore green corridor.

Through the work in the consortium and with inputs from the wider supply chain, the partners aim to develop a framework as a preparatory step toward real-world implementation of a green iron ore shipping value chain. 

The collaboration outputs are intended to lay some of the groundwork for real-world implementation of the green corridor, the consortium explained.

The new consortium will also facilitate a robust public-private dialogue to investigate conditions that need to be in place to mobilize demand and to feasibly scale zero or near-zero-GHG emission shipping on the corridor. 

“Zero-greenhouse gas emission pathways require the creation of a parallel value chain that involves new ways of working, new contractual relationships, and drives the development of decarbonised fuel production and infrastructure. This new iron ore green corridor collaboration is an important step towards enabling zero greenhouse gas emission shipping from both the supply and demand side”, said Johannah Christensen, CEO of the Global Maritime Forum. 

The LOI coincides with the recently initiated foundation of the European green corridors network launched by the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Centre for Zero Carbon Shipping and the Port Authorities of Gdynia, Hamburg, Roenne, Rotterdam, and Tallinn.

China and the U.S. also announced a partnership of cities, ports, shipping companies and a network of cargo owners to create a first-of-its-kind green shipping corridor on one of the world’s busiest container shipping routes.

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