MoU Formulated for LNG Bunkering in Tokyo Bay

| Japan: Yokohama City
Port of Yokohama

Port of Yokohama

Yokohama-Kawasaki International Port Corporation (YKIP) together with Uyeno Transtech Ltd., also of Yokohama City, and Sumitomo Corporation of Chuo-ku, Tokyo, have concluded a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to conduct a joint study on liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering services for ships based on the ship-to-ship (STS) transfer model in Tokyo Bay.

Worldwide, there are high expectations of LNG as an alternative fuel with minimal environmental impact that could enable the shipping industry to meet tougher regulations on SOx emissions which will apply to shipping in all ocean areas from 2020. It is now forecast that around one-quarter of all shipping fuel used worldwide will be switched to LNG by 2030, and demand for this fuel is expected to grow throughout the world. However, while Europe and the United States forge ahead with the use of LNG, the Asian countries including Japan lag far behind due to inadequate LNG supply infrastructure.

Tokyo Bay serves as the gateway to the Asian region for ships operating in the Pacific Ocean. Hoping to transform the Bay into a LNG bunkering hub, the three companies will carry out a joint study on LNG bunkering services in the Bay based on the STS transfer model using LNG bunkering ships, with consideration for possible participation of LNG-related companies in this project.

As a company which serves the marine transportation division of Uyeno Group, Uyeno Transtech will work with its business partners to carry out this study on LNG bunkering services in Tokyo Bay with the aim of promoting the use of LNG as an alternative fuel for marine transportation in the next generation. Uyeno strives to become a truly sustainable business group through its ongoing contributions to the prevention of global warming and to the further development of society.

Shipping fuel supplier Sumitomo Corporation plans to work with its partner companies to build an industrial platform for the safe and reliable procurement and supply of LNG, a low-cost fuel with minimal environmental impact, and will meet new customers’ needs in addition to providing its conventional shipping fuel oil supply services. Through this joint study, Sumitomo Corporation aims to promote the use of LNG as a shipping fuel around the world while pursuing sustainable growth in harmony with the global environment.

As the port administration company for container terminals in Yokohama Port and Kawasaki Port, YKIP has been working to develop a LNG bunkering hub in Tokyo Bay, centered on Yokohama Port, to respond to SOx emission regulations which will come into force across the world’s ocean areas from 2020. YKIP will continue to contribute to the sustainable development of society through the creation of an environmentally-friendly port serving as a hub for East Japan, providing an environment which will encourage port calls by LNG-fueled ships.

LNG is characterized by lower levels of emissions of sulfur oxides (SOx), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and carbon dioxide (CO2) compared to the heavy fuel oil which has conventionally fueled ships.

Ship-to-ship (STS) transfer: A technique in which an LNG bunkering ship is aligned alongside an LNG-fueled ship which is anchored to a berth or moored at a quay or wharf, and supplies it with LNG.

Source: joint press release from Uyeno Transtech Ltd., Sumitomo Corporation and Yokohama-Kawasaki International Port Corporation 

Related article:  Japan Considers LNG Bunkering Feasibility Report

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