The carriers will transport iron ore and coal from overseas locations to JFE Steel’s steelworks in Japan.
The company says it will become the first company in Japan to deploy LNG-fueled ships in the 210,000-tonnes class.
This shift to LNG-powered transport is to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions generated during international shipping.
Using LNG instead of conventional fuels can reduce CO2 emissions by around 25-30 per cent, sulfur oxides by roughly 100 per cent, and nitrous oxides by around 85 per cent.
The LNG-fueled bulk carriers are expected to be completed in 2024. Designed by Nihon Shipyard, they will be built by Japan Marine United and Imabari Shipbuilding.
The maximum gross tonnage of each ship will be 110,800 tonnes and the maximum deadweight capacity will be 210,000 tonnes.
The Japanese steel manufacturer says it is also planning on using zero-emission ships powered by fuels such as ammonia and carbon-recycling methane.