Tomakomai Port in Hokkaido Prepares Way for LNG Bunkering

| Japan: Hokkaido | Source: Tomakomai Port Management Association; JAPEX

Tomakomai Port S-t-S LNG transferTomakomai Port Management Association and Japan Petroleum Resources Development Co., Ltd. (JAPEX) are collaborating to examine issues pertaining to the implementation of LNG bunkering based at Hokkaido’s Tomakomai Port. A study group, established to advance the project and including public and private entities such as Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL), aims to support Japan’s ‘Contribution to the establishment of a low-carbon society’.

After the first meeting in late February this year, 6 more meetings will be conducted over the next twelve months with the goal of producing a report by early 2020. Participants will focus on the various methods of LNG bunkering (Ship-to-ship, truck-to-ship), steps toward implementation, rule making and so on. The region will draw on accumulated experience gained from handling of LNG cargoes over nearly a decade.

An alternative bunkering method also to be considered is the use of portable tanks as ship fuel tanks, using cranes and for loading/unloading, and self-propelled trailers for transportation.

The Study Group sees the IMO directive for sulfur reduction as leading to the possibility of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) spreading rapidly as a major marine fuel, particularly given its superior emissions profile compared to other marine fuels.

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