Singapore-based tonnage provider Eastern Pacific Shipping (EPS) has signed a charter deal with Rio Tinto for up to six LNG dual-fuel Newcastlemax bulkers.

The deal covers three firm vessels with options for three more.

The 210,000 deadweight tonnage vessels will be built at Jiangsu New Times Shipbuilding in Jiangsu, China.

The dry bulk carriers are scheduled to be delivered starting from the second half of 2023.

LNG is a major component of EPS’ Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) policy, since it is an available and proven way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, EPS states.

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Rio Tinto also looks to reduce its carbon footprint by incorporating LNG.

Cyril Ducau, EPS CEO, said: “This partnership between EPS and Rio Tinto is another important step forward for industry-wide decarbonisation… I am inspired by this partnership because it fulfills our sustainability ambitions and sends a clear signal that greener shipping is possible today.”

Ashley Howard, chief financial and operating officer, commercial, added: “This keeps Rio consistent with industry best practice and will provide additional opportunity to meet our emissions reduction goals and overall value management performance.”

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