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NYK Continues LNG Newbuild Trend With Order for Two Coal Carriers

LNG fueled coal carrier
NYK will order two LNG-fueled coal carriers continuing the trend in orders (NYK)

Published Nov 2, 2022 7:27 PM by The Maritime Executive

Japan’s NYK is continuing the trend of new build orders for LNG-fueled ships reporting that it has opted to build more LNG-fueled bulkers. These orders continue a trend that saw the amount of LNG-fueled newbuilds scheduled for the next six years reach record numbers.

NYK reports it will order two LNG-fueled large coal carriers from Oshima Shipbuilding Co. in Japan. These orders are part of the company’s continuing fleet development effort aimed at achieving net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the NYK Group's ocean-going businesses by 2050. NYK was one of the early adopters of LNG-fueled bulkers ordering the world's first LNG-fueled large coal carrier in 2019. The line ordered its first LNG-fueled Capesize bulk carrier in 2021, in addition to four more LNG-fueled Capesize bulk carriers in January 2022.

NYK’s current fleet includes a total of 382 bulk carriers. The company reported in March 2022 that its bulker fleet represented a total of 38.7 million dwt.

The two new vessels will each be 95,000 dwt and specifically design to carry coal. Each ship will measure approximately 770 feet. The vessels are scheduled to be delivered in 2025.

“Going forward, we will continue with the gradual planned introduction of LNG-fueled vessels until the realization of zero-emission vessels that use marine fuels such as hydrogen or ammonia, which would have an even lower environmental impact,” NYK said in announcing this latest order.

While LNG-fueled ship orders slowed in recent months, DNV’s Principal Consultant Martin Christian Wold wrote that DNV attributed it mainly to reduced newbuild contracting in general. While noting that “this last quarter was the slowest on record since Q4 2020 with a net increase of 26 ships,” he said orders for LNG-fueled ships “continues at a fair pace.” Wold noted that there were 14 more dual-fuel LNG orders in September, mostly coming for containerships.

DNV reports on its Alternative Fuels Insights platform that there are a total of 323 ships in operation using LNG. Current orders stretching to 2028 call for an additional 516 vessels bringing the projected total to 840 vessels operating on LNG. That represents a significant increase from June 2022, when Wold highlighted that LNG orders were at an all-time high with a total of 805 LNG-fueled vessels due by 2028.

DNV’s data shows that the largest portion of the LNG orderbook is for containerships which make up more than a third of the new vessels. The orders for LNG-fueled car carriers have been increasing now making up the second largest portion of the orderbook. Currently, DNV reports while there are only 13 LNG-fueled bulkers in operation, there are 53 bulk carriers ordered that will operate on LNG. Orders for all types of tankers operating on LNG are lagging reflecting the overall slow pace of new construction both for crude and product tankers. 

The majority of the deliveries for the new LNG-fueled ships are scheduled for 2023 and 2024, although DNV projects that the orderbook will continue to grow.