NYK has placed an order for the world largest pure car and truck carrier (PCTC) capable of navigating oceans with only LNG as the main fuel. A keel laying ceremony was held on September 20 at Shin Kurushima Toyohashi Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. The ship is scheduled to be delivered in 2020 and will be the first large LNG-fueled PCTC to be built in Japan.
To minimize a reduction in vehicle loading capacity caused by the installation of LNG fuel tanks, in addition to optimizing major items such as ship width, several designs for maximizing the cargo loading space will be implemented, and the new vessel will be able to transport approximately 7,000 units (standard vehicle equivalent) per voyage.
With the support by Japan’s Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism for its model project to reduce emissions by using alternative fuel, the vessel will be installed with the technology to reduce further CO2 emissions and the experimental verification in its actual voyage will be scheduled. The ship will be about 40% more energy efficient (reducing CO2 emissions per unit of transport), far exceeding the International Maritime Organization (IMO) EEDI phase 3 requirements that will become effective in 2025. The vessel is also expected to reduce SOx emissions by approximately 99% and NOx by approximately 86% compared to conventional heavy oil–fired engines.
Air pollution by ship exhaust gas has become an important challenge, and environmental regulations surrounding the shipping industry are being strengthened year by year as environmental awareness increases.
From an early stage, the NYK Group has been steadily moving toward using LNG as a propulsion fuel. In fact, in 2016 the group built the world’s first LNG-fueled car carrier. That ship entered into service in 2017, and just last year the company began issuing green bonds (corporate bonds in which the proceeds are used solely for the purpose of funding environment-friendly projects) to finance LNG-fueled ships and LNG bunkering vessels, among other financing projects.