Teck Resources to ship coal on wind-powered bulker

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by Emily Atkins

Mining company Teck Resources Limited is planning to use wind propulsion to reduce COemissions in its supply chain. 

The vessel Dietrich Oldendorff, which carries shipments of Teck steelmaking coal from the Port of Vancouver across the Pacific Ocean, will be outfitted with a Flettner Rotor system by mid-2024. 

The Flettner Rotors generate lift from the wind, which is translated into thrust, thereby reducing fuel consumption on voyages across the Pacific. The addition of the rotors, along with other emission savings measures, is expected to reduce emissions by 55 percent, resulting in an annual reduction of over 17,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions, equal to removing 3,500 gasoline-powered passenger vehicles from the road.

Manufactured by Norsepower, the rotors are constructed in part with recycled materials from approximately 342,000 plastic bottles.

Teck is  has 2030 climate goals including to reduce carbon intensity across operations by 33 percent.

“This innovative agreement to utilize wind power in shipping will reduce the carbon footprint in Teck’s supply chain and help advance the development of green transportation corridors,” said Jonathan Price, president and CEO, Teck. “Teck is collaborating with our customers and suppliers to reduce emissions in our supply chain as part of our climate strategy.”

Since the November 2021 announcement of the start of Teck and Oldendorff’s joint efforts to reduce supply chain emissions, an estimated 115,000 tonnes of COemissions have been eliminated. Teck and Oldendorff are also currently piloting the use of biofuel on another bulk carrier as another means to lower emissions.

Oldendorff Carriers is a 102-year-old family-owned shipping company operating a fleet of about 700 bulk carriers.

Patrick Hutchins, the company’s CEO, noted that 40 years of historical weather data show that the trade lane between the Pacific Northwest and Asia is one of the best trade lanes for producing reliable wind energy.

“We are excited to harness the power of the wind in the transpacific dry bulk trade with a progressive partner like Teck. Our mutual determination to drive a decarbonized supply chain can only be realized through cooperation and collaboration. The energy transition has begun, and we are prepared to make the necessary joint investments that will provide a meaningful reduction of emissions,” he said.