An R&D plan jointly presented by NYK and Oshima Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. was approved by Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) in its effort to support the introduction of cutting-edge vessels. The selected plan concerns R&D to fuel a post-panamax (a ship larger than the maximum vessel size) bulk carrier with LNG. MLIT’s approval is expected to accelerate the practical application of the plan.
The approval program, which was introduced last October, aims to improve the productivity of Japan’s maritime industry and bolster its global competitiveness by approving plans for R&D, manufacturing, and the use of eco-friendly fuels for propulsion. The project will be implemented from April 2018 to March 2022
The goal is to achieve a 30% reduction of Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) for bulk carriers constructed after January 1, 2025. Recent, newly designed vessels have reduced EEDI by 20 to 30%, but in some conditions, it is difficult for post-panamax carriers to achieve greater reductions. By using environment-friendly LNG that emits less CO2 than that emitted by C heavy oil, reductions can be attained before regulations commence. Moreover, the project plans to optimize outfitting and piping to reduce construction time by 20% for LNG-fueled ships, which currently require more time for construction than other.
To date, the NYK Group has promoted the practical use of LNG as an environment-friendly fuel by constructing and operating the world’s first LNG-fueled car carrier and the world’s first purpose-built LNG bunkering vessel, as well as developing an LNG fuel sales business.