Tata Steel becomes first Indian company to use LNG fuelled ships for import of Coal

Tata Steel imports cargo on bulk carriers that use LNG as fuel instead of traditional VLSFO (Very Low Sulphur Fuel Oil), making it the first Indian company to do so.

Tata Steel imported 1,65,700 tonnes of coal, which was discharged at Dharma port by cape vessel “MV Ubuntu Unity” on July 24th.

The steel manufacturer going forward has plans to import one million tonnes of coking coal in FY24 from Australia in such LNG-powered vessels.

MV Ubuntu Unity sailed off on July 1 after loading coal from Gladstone port. The carrier used LNG during its ballast leg (Tianjin to Gladstone) and a mix of LNG and traditional fuel during its laden leg (Gladstone to Dhamra). The entire voyage produced 1,800 tonnes lesser carbon emission which is 35% less as compared to traditional Baltic specification cape vessels.

LNG which is a greener fuel as compared to heavy fuel oil is being looked at as a transition fuel on the path of net zero carbon emissions.

Peeyush Gupta, Vice-President, Supply Chain, Tata Steel, said in 2021 the company was the first in the steel industry to deploy a ship powered by biofuel. It continued the decarbonation drive with 7 biofuel shipments in FY23.

Continuing its sustainability drive, Tata Steel in this fiscal deployed an LNG-powered vessel for transportation of raw materials to India.

The company endeavours to perform 10 per cent of the total number of shipments for imports through alternate fuel powered vessels in this fiscal, it said.

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