Japanese companies to convert ships’ vehicle lashing belts into RPF fuel

Japanese companies NYK Line, NYK Trading Corporation (NYKT), Azbil Yamatake Friendly and Kayama Kogyo have begun recycling well-worn vehicle lashing belts to convert them into solid fuel.

Courtesy of NYK

The belts were previously used on NYK-operated car carriers and passed their expiration dates.

Azbil Yamatake Friendly will collect and separate the lashing belts into metal parts and belts.

Kayama Kogyo will then produce refuse-derived paper and plastics densified fuel (RPF) from the plastic belts. RPF fuel has a high calorific value and is used as a substitute for fossil fuels such as coal and coke.

Approximately 200,000 lashing belts are disposed of annually in the entire NYK-operated car carrier fleet. If all those belts are recycled, they can be converted into approximately 20 tons of RPF fuel. When recycling started on April 6, about 27,000 used lashing belts were collected from the car carrier Sagittarius Leader at the port of Nagoya.

Previously, lashing belts that had passed their useful life based on NYK’s own safety standards were disposed of as industrial waste or sold as used products. From now on, specified discarded lashing belts will be recycled into RPF fuel and reused as an energy resource.

Kayama Kogyo will contribute to further GHG emission reductions by using renewable energy sources for all electricity used in fuel production.

In addition to consideration for the natural environment, this initiative incorporates a process that welcomes diverse human resources, according to NYK. Employees with intellectual disabilities separate the metal and belts at Azbil Yamatake Friendly, and foreign technical interns are involved in RPF fuel production at Kayama Kogyo.