Environmental Flagship

Fueling Ships with LNG Instead of Heavy Oil (LNG Tugboat, LNG PCTCs(Pure Car and Truck Carriers), LNG Coal Carrier, LNG Bunkering Business)

Vessels currently use heavy oil to run ship engines. However, changing from heavy oil to liquefied natural gas (LNG) would result in emissions reductions of about 30% for CO2, about 80% for NOx, and 100% for SOx. In October 2011, the NYK Group established its Fuel Project Team (Current Name: Clean Fuel Business Team of Green Business Group) to research the viability of a fuel changeover and the development of related technology. In August 2015, the first domestic LNG-fueled tugboat was completed. And in September 2016, two dual-fuel LNG pure car and truck carriers (PCTCs), a world's first, were completed.
A large LNG-fueled PCTCs will be completed in 2020 and 2022, then the world's first large LNG-fueled Coal Carrier will be also completed in 2023.

These vessels have a dual fuel engine that can use either LNG or heavy oil as fuel. When operating on LNG fuel, it is possible to reduce emissions of gases that could harm the environment. We look forward to accumulating further knowledge through the construction and operation of these LNG-fueled vessels, and will look to expand to larger vessels and other types of ships.

Moreover, in September 2016 we established the brand "Gas4Sea" with ENGIE SA and the Mitsubishi Corporation to develop and sell LNG fuel worldwide. In February 2017, we completed the world's first LNG-fuel supply ship, "Engie Zeebrugge," to provide fuel to LNG-fueled carriers. We began operations from our based port of Zeebrugge, Belgium, to supply LNG fuel to vessels sailing in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. In Japan, we plan to launch a bunkering business starting in 2020 using Japan's first LNG bunkering vessel through a partnership with Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd., JERA Co. Inc. and Toyota Tsusho Corporation. In the latter half of 2020, the first LNG -fuel supply ship to operate in Japan will be completed.

Image of large LNG-fueled PCTC

Japan's First LNG-fueled Vessel "Sakigake"

On August 31 at the Oppama factory of Keihin Dock Co. Ltd.,NYK received delivery of Japan's first LNG-fueled tugboat. The vessel has been named "Sakigake" and is expected to confirm the viability of LNG (liquefied natural gas) as a marine fuel and to help cultivate a new business field in the area of LNG as an environment-friendly marine fuel.

Sakigake was chartered from NYK to the Wing Maritime Service Corporation and is currently being operated mainly at the ports of Yokohama and Kawasaki. The new tug is equipped with dual-fuel engines that can use either of LNG or diesel oil, depending on conditions. Compared with conventional tugboats that use marine diesel oil, Sakigake emits about 30 percent less carbon dioxide, 80 percent less nitrogen oxide, and absolutely no sulfur oxide when using LNG as fuel. Three Patents are pending for the LNG receiving system and LNG carburetion system used on board.

LNG for this vessel is supplied from a tanker truck at a pier in Yokohama, and much effort has been made together with the supplier, Tokyo Gas Co. Ltd., to establish a method for the LNG to be safely and efficiently supplied in compliance with relevant laws and regulations. In fact, in July 2015 a trial fueling of the vessel from a tanker truck was successfully carried out for the first time in Japan.

This vessel has received a number of awards, such as the Technological Development Award at the 17th annual Logistics Environment Awards sponsored by the Japan Federation of Freight Industries (JFFI) and the Technology Special Award at the 2015 Ship of the Year Awards sponsored by the Japan Society of Naval Architects and Ocean Engineers (JASNAOE).

In addition, in May 2019, we participated in Kitakyushu's first ship-to-ship LNG fuel supply demonstration experiment in the Kyushu and Setouchi districts, and in January 2020, Yokohama's 100th LNG fuel supply in total was achieved.

Truck to Ship