Australian mining giant BHP is to team up with Japan’s largest shipping company NYK Line on projects to decarbonise the dry bulk supply chain.

The pair will jointly study the use of next-generation zero-carbon emission ships to be fuelled by green or blue ammonia.

Both companies have stated their goal to achieve net-zero emissions in their shipping operations by 2050.

By 2030, BHP has said it also wants to achieve a 40% reduction in emissions intensity on its chartered ships.

BHP and NYK want to jointly promote the use of greenhouse gas emission reduction innovations and technologies, and trial alternative lower and zero-carbon emission marine fuels.

Rashpal Singh Bhatti, BHP’s vice president of maritime & supply chain excellence, said: “Signing this MOU with NYK, one of our long-term strategic partners, lets us leverage their reach and depth of expertise in shipping and decarbonisation — including the future fuel transition the industry must make — in support of BHP’s decarbonisation ambitions for net-zero scope 3 GHG emissions.”

Earlier this year, NYK Line ordered a series of four LNG-fuelled capesize bulk carriers in Japan and China, which are the sort of vessels BHP might employ to reduce carbon emissions.

It also has developed a design for an ammonia-ready LNG-fuelled capesize bulk carrier.

Nobuhiro Kashima, NYK dry bulk division chief executive, said: “Going forward, NYK will continue to make full use of our knowledge, innovation and technologies as one of the world’s leading shipping companies to support the decarbonisation of shipping in cooperation with customers.”