International shipping company Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) says it will build an LNG-fueled tugboat. It will conform to the International Code Of Safety For Ships Using Gases Or Other Low-Flash Point Fuels (IGF) issued in January of this year and is subject to examination by Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.
MOL will own the tugboat, slated for construction at Kanagawa Dockyard Co., Ltd; Yanmar Co., Ltd. will supply LNG-fueled engines; Osaka Gas Co., Ltd. will supply LNG fuel to the tugboat; and Nihon Tug-Boat Co., Ltd. will operate the tugboat.
The new tugboat will be deployed in Osaka Bay in April 2019. It will be equipped with high-performance dual fuel engines that allows high-speed operation and superior environmental performance, and will be the first LNG-fueled tugboat to escort large-scale freighters in Osaka Bay and the Seto Inland Sea. The development of this tugboat will also spur the initial development of an LNG fuel supply system for vessels in Osaka Bay.
The tugboat will be built as an element of MOL’s R&D project – “ISHIN Next – MOL Smart Ship Project”, and knowledge and expertise gained through the tugboat’s development and operation will be fed back to various types of LNG-fueled ships including the environment-friendly ferry (ISHIN-II). ISHIN stands for “Innovations in Sustainability backed by Historically proven INtegrated Technologies.”
The construction of this tugboat also reflects MOL’s proactive stance in promoting LNG fuel through technological development of LNG-fueled vessels and enhancement of safe operation. MOL continually strives to promote and expand its environment and emission-free businesses, seizing opportunities presented by efforts to reduce the environmental impact of the global shipping industry.
In February this year, the company said it will establish the Bunker Business Office as an independent office within the Energy Transport Business Unit. AMongst other acctivities, it will accelerate initiatives concerning vessels with engines that use alternative fuel such as LNG. And it will participate in LNG and other fuel supply businesses in an integrated fashion.