Japan's First LNG-Fueled Tug Delivered


Published Sep 16, 2015 4:30 AM by The Maritime Executive

NYK has taken delivery of Japan’s first LNG-fueled tugboat from Keihin Dock. The vessel has been named Sakigake and is expected to confirm the viability of LNG as a marine fuel.

Sakigake has been chartered to Wing Maritime Service Corporation from NYK and will be operated mainly at the ports of Yokohama and Kawasaki.

The new tug is equipped with dual-fuel engines that can use either of LNG and 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 no sulfur oxide when using LNG as fuel.

The small size of most tugboats, the limited amount of space and the large variation in engine power make it difficult to build an LNG-fueled tugboat, said NYK in a statement. However, Keihin Dock was able to achieve an excellent level of environmental performance while maintaining the same hull form and steering performance of existing tugboats.

To do this, Keihin Dock worked closely with Niigata Power Systems to design and manufacture the dual-fuel engine, and Air Water Plant & Engineering to develop equipment for supplying LNG.

LNG for this vessel will be supplied from a tanker truck at a pier in Yokohama, and much effort has been made together with the supplier, Tokyo Gas to ensure that the LNG can be safely and efficiently supplied in compliance with relevant laws and regulations. A trial fueling of the vessel from a tanker truck was successfully carried out for the first time in Japan in July

Patents are pending for the LNG receiving system and LNG carburetion system used on board.

The project received subsidies from Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, which support projects promising energy-saving logistics and innovative maritime transport improvements. ClassNK also provided joint research support.

The NYK Group has already built the world’s first LNG-fueled car carrier, in addition to an LNG supply vessel, and the group is set to participate in the LNG bunkering business. In accordance with the group’s medium-term management plan, “More Than Shipping 2018,” NYK will contribute to the continued spread and development of LNG fuel for ships, applying the knowledge and know-how the company has gained through the expansion of its eco-friendly operations.
Length overall: 37.20 meters
Breadth: 10.20 meters
Molded depth: 4.40 meters
Gross tonnage: 272 tons
Main engine: NIIGATA 6L28AHX-DF x 2
Shipowner: NYK
Flag: Japan
Class: Nippon Kaiji Kyokai