Natural Gas on the rise for Japan’s Workboats
NYK to Build Japan's First Natural Gas-Fueled Tug
NYK will build a tugboat featuring a dual fuel engine that can be powered by either Natural Gas, which will be stored as LNG, or heavy fuel oil. Other than LNG carriers, this tugboat will be the first building in Japan of a Natural Gas-fueled vessel.
NYK has enhanced its initiatives to mitigate environmental loads through the practical realization of environment-responsive technologies such as solar-powered systems and air-lubrication systems. In 2011, NYK established a team in the company’s Fuel Group to research next-generation fuel alternatives to heavy oil, and looked into building a Natural Gas-fueled vessel with the cooperation of Nippon Kaiji Kyokai and others, based on the results of a survey conducted by the Japan Railway Construction, Transport and Technology Agency. Natural Gas received attention as a possible alternative to heavy oil because NG does not emit any SOX and produces far less CO2 and NOX compared to heavy oil. In fact, using NG as a fuel will cut this tugboat’s emissions of CO2 by about 30%, NOX by about 80%, and SOX by 100% compared to using heavy oil.
This project will be subsidized by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. Tokyo Gas Co. Ltd., with its head office in Tokio, will supply the LNG, and with the support of Tokyo Gas, NYK will make arrangements for a safe LNG supply system.
The intended new building will feature twin engines with twin azimuth pods.
According to the NYK Group this will not be the first and only ship in the future in Japan which is powered by alternative fuels to mitigate environmental loads by vessels.
Graphs: courtesy of NYK