Japanese consortium to build LNG-fuelled hybrid limestone carrier

A consortium of Japanese organisations comprising Nippon Steel Corporation, Nippon Steel Cement, NS United Naiko Kaiun Kaisha, Japan Petroleum Exploration Co, Tsuneishi Shipbuilding and Kawasaki Heavy Industries have agreed to construct a vessel with a hybrid propulsion system combining a gas-only engine and a battery as the replacement of the limestone carrier Shimokita Maru owned by NSU Naiko.

A consortium of Japanese organisations comprising Nippon Steel Corporation, Nippon Steel Cement, NS United Naiko Kaiun Kaisha, Japan Petroleum Exploration Co, Tsuneishi Shipbuilding and Kawasaki Heavy Industries have agreed to construct a vessel with a hybrid propulsion system combining a gas-only engine and a battery as the replacement of the limestone carrier Shimokita Maru owned by NSU Naiko.

The Vessel is scheduled to start the operation in February 2024, and will be equipped with Japan’s first gas-only engine and total 2,847kWh lithium-ion battery. The LNG fuel tank is planned to use 7% nickel steel plate developed by Nippon Steel Corporation for the first time as a marine tank.

The propulsion power and the onboard electric power during the sailing are generated by the gas-only engine developed by Kawasaki Heavy Industries. Only natural gas will be used for high power, long distance, and long duration navigation. The propulsion power and the onboard power during entering, leaving and berthing ports will be provided from the battery to achieve zero-emission operation.

The CO2 emission reduction effect of introducing the propulsion system of this vessel is 23.56% (about 30% at normal load operation) compared to conventional vessels of the same type, and the exhaust gas of the gas-only engine contains almost no SOx, and NOx emissions is far below the Tier IIIstandard.

In addition, on its main routes, the loading port, Shiriyamisaki and the unloading port, Muroran, the zero-emission operations that are friendly to the environment will be carried out.

The construction of the Vessel was adopted by the Global Environment Bureau of the Japanese Ministry of the Environment and the Maritime Bureau of the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism for the “Projects to promote the introduction of advanced technologies that will simultaneously achieve social innovation and the decarbonization of logistics (Projects to promote the introduction of LNG fuel systems, etc.)” FY2021 Subsidy for the expenses in projects for measures to suppress carbon dioxide emissions.

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