MOL Signs Deal for LNG-Fueled Tug
Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) has ordered an LNG-fueled tug from Kanagawa Dockyard – anticipated to be the first LNG-fueled tug in Japan conforming to the IGF Code.
The order marks MOL's first ownership of a tug powered by LNG-fueled engines, which will be built by Yanmar. It is also expected to be Japan's first LNG-fueled tug with the LNG fuel tank mounted on the exposed deck at the stern of the ship. This location has been chosen to enhance accessibility for bunkering, maintenance and inspection.
Construction is slated to start in February 2018 and finish in February 2019, with launching scheduled for April 2019. Meanwhile, MOL will move ahead with research into LNG fuel supply systems with detachable, portable LNG fuel tanks, by adapting this design to the tug.
The ship will be operated by Nihon Tug-Boat, and it will be deployed in Osaka Bay in April 2019. LNG fuel will be supplied by Osaka Gas using a truck-to-ship system. MOL and Osaka Gas will establish an LNG fuel supply system for vessels, which will be the first in Osaka Bay.
MOL has already undertaken research related to LNG fuel, such as a joint study of an LNG-fueled Capesize bulker, Approval In Principle (AIP) for the future design of a series of LNG-powered 20,000 TEU-class container ships and AIP for the design of an LNG-powered coal carrier.
Also in Japan this week, "K" Line, Chubu Electric Power, Toyota Tsusho Corporation and NYK Line announced that the four companies had begun joint discussions on the commercialization of a new business to supply LNG as a marine fuel to ships in the Chubu (central region) of Japan.