Fueling Ships with LNG Instead of Heavy Oil (LNG Tugboat, LNG PCTCs(Pure Car and Truck Carriers), 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 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.
In the North Sea and Baltic Sea areas, strict regulations have been implemented since January 2015 to limit fuel-oil sulfur content to 0.1% or less. And LNG-fueled car carriers operating in that area fully meet these new regulations because LNG does not emit any sulfur.
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.
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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).
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Next-Generation Car Carrier Delivered "Aries Leader"
In May 2014, NYK took delivery of a new pure car carrier, Aries Leader, the very first post-Panamax car carrier in Japan. We were able to enlarge and redesign the typical car carrier to increase its capacity and include the latest energy-saving technologies, detailed below. As a result, we expect a 30% reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per unit compared with existing large pure car carriers.
Some of the carriers energy-saving technologies
In addition to basic functions, the new hybrid turbocharger utilizes the extra rotational power of the turbine to generate electricity. By utilizing "waste" energy, the turbocharger boosts the output power of the engine by enabling it to aspirate at a level higher than that for the original engine displacement.
Electronically Controlled Engines
An electronically controlled system optimally times fuel injection and the opening and shutting of exhaust valves, thus enabling the engine to operate at optimal combustion efficiency. In particular, this type of engine improves combustion efficiency because of the high level of fuel injection pressure that can be maintained even in the low-load range. Therefore, the improvement reduces the generation of not only CO2 but also NOx, soot, and smoke to a significant degree.
A fuel compound composed of a stable mixture of water and heavy oil. When we use water-emulsion fuel, the suddenly heated water droplets explode and spread oil around in a fine mist that supports highly efficient combustion. In addition, the water mixed in with the fuel boils during combustion, trapping heat and reducing combustion temperature, which in turn reduces the NOx.
Next-Generation, Energy-Saving Fluorescent, E-COOL lighting system
Based on the cold cathode fluorescent lamps used in LCD monitors, the E-COOL lighting system realizes high brightness. The lamps also consume much less power and have a long service life. This new lighting system is expected to enable power savings of about 40% compared with conventional fluorescent lighting systems. We installed 52,000 E-COOL lights on 22 vessels in fiscal 2013.
In addition, Aries Leader has been equipped with an air-lubrication system, which is explained in more detail in the following section.
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