NYK Orders Four LNG-Fueled Vehicle Carriers from China

LNG-fueled car carrier to be built in China
(NYK photo)

Published Feb 15, 2021 5:56 PM by The Maritime Executive

Japan’s NYK Line announced that it has ordered four new LNG-fueled pure car and truck carrier (PCTC) as part of the company’s efforts to replace its current fleet with more environmentally-friendly vessels in line with the corporate strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

In an unusual move for the Japanese shipping company, the vessels will be built in China at China Merchants Jinling Shipyard (Nanjing) Co. Due to be delivered in 2022 and 2023, the vessels are planned to transport vehicles mainly to and from Europe or to the Middle East.

The vessels will incorporate several new technologies to improve their environmental performance. In addition to being fueled with LNG, they will be the first to utilize WinGD’s X-DF2.0 iCER main engine for their propulsion. NYK reports that the engine will consume less gas and reduce GHG emissions by cutting methane emissions from the exhaust gas by approximately 50 percent. The iCER technology (Intelligent Control by Exhaust Recycling) delivers enhanced combustion control through the use of inert gas.

The vessels will also be equipped with battery hybrid technology, which will improve fuel efficiency by mitigating main engine and electrical generator load fluctuations through the support of batteries. The use of LNG fuel, together with these new technologies and other developments such as hull modification, will contribute to a reduction of sulfur oxide (SOx) emissions by 99 percent compared to ships fueled by heavy fuel oil. The nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions will also be cut by 96 percent, and CO2 emissions by approximately 40 percent or more (per unit of transportation).

The company says it plans to replace its current vessels with around 40 newly built LNG-fueled PCTCs over the next decade to achieve the company’s environmental management target, which is to reduce CO2 emissions per ton-kilometer of transport by 50 percent by 2050. NYK aims to further advance to zero-emission vessels utilizing low-emission marine fuels such as hydrogen and ammonia from around the mid-2030s.

NYK had introduced its first LNG-fueled vehicle carrier, the Sakura Leader, in October 2020. The Sakura Leader was selected as a model project by Japan’s Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, and received support from the ministries for technical verification of CO2 emission reductions during actual voyages. They also signed in February 2020 a contract for a second LNG-fueled vehicle carrier to be built by the Shin Kurushima Dockyard Co. and due for delivery in 2022.

The four Chinese-built vehicle carriers will similar in dimensions to the two Japanese-built vessels. The dimensions for the four vessels are:

Length overall: about 656 feet
Breadth: about 125 feet
Total car capacity: 7,000 units
Gross tonnage: 72,800 tons