LNG-fueled Bulk Carrier R&D Plan Approved by Japan’s MLIT

| Japan: Tokyo

Post-Panamax ship (image DSME)An R&D plan jointly presented by NYK and Oshima Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. has been approved by Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) in its effort to support the introduction of cutting-edge vessels. The selected plan concerns R&D to fuel a post-panamax* bulk carrier with liquefied natural gas (LNG). MLIT’s approval is expected to accelerate the practical application of the plan.

The approval scheme, which was introduced last October, aims to improve the productivity of Japan’s maritime industry and bolster its global competitiveness by approving plans for R&D, manufacturing, the introduction of vessels using IoT (a suite of data-driven technologies) for further safety and efficiency, and the use of eco-friendly fuel for propulsion.

Plan Outline

A brief outline of the plan submitted by NYK and Oshima Shipbuilding is provided below:

Name: R&D to fuel a post-panamax bulk carrier with LNG
Operators: NYK, Oshima Shipbuilding Co. Ltd.
Period: April 2018 to March 2022 (four years)
Outline: R&D on LNG-fueled vessel (post-panamax bulk carrier) to greatly reduce environmental burdens:

  • Minimize the loss of cargo space by optimizing LNG fuel tank and accommodation arrangement
  • Optimization of outfitting and piping design to reduce construction time by 20 percent for LNG-fueled ships, which currently require more time for construction than other vessels.

Recent, newly designed vessels have reduced EEDI** by 20 to 30 percent, but in some conditions, it is difficult for post-panamax carriers to achieve greater reductions. By using environment-friendly LNG fuel that emits less CO2 than C heavy oil, reductions can be attained before regulations commence.

Accumulation of LNG marine fuel expertise

To date, the NYK Group has promoted the practical use of LNG as an environment-friendly fuel by constructing and operating the world’s first LNG-fueled car carrier and the world’s first purpose-built LNG bunkering vessel, as well as developing an LNG-fuel sales business. Based on its accumulated expertise, the NYK Group will work with its partners to contribute to the use of LNG in the maritime industry for a sustainable society.

* Post-panamax: Post-panamax refers to a ship that is larger than a Panamax vessel which capable of passing through the Panama Canal before its expansion in 2016.

** Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI): An indicator for assessment of CO2 emissions per primary unit (ton-mile) based on specifications at the vessel design/construction stage. Calculation of EEDI is mandatory for newly manufactured vessels, and a certificate indicating the EEDI specific to each vessel is issued. The regulations will be strengthened in stages in the future, in 2020 (Phase 2) and 2025 (Phase 3).

Source: NYK Line

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