Japan’s first dual-fuel LNG bunkering vessel delivered to NYK and partners

KEYS Bunkering West Japan Corporation (KEYS), a joint venture established by Kyushu Electric Power, NYK Line, Itochu Enex, and Saibu Gas, has taken delivery of a newbuild LNG bunkering vessel, KEYS Azalea. The vessel is said to be Japan’s first LNG bunkering ship equipped with dual-fuel engines.

The vessel was delivered to the joint venture partners on March 28 at the Shimonoseki Shipyard & Machinery Works’ Enoura Plant owned by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

The shipbuilding order for the 82.4-meter-long KEYS Azaela was placed in March 2022 and the vessel was launched in July 2023.

The LNG bunkering ship will now begin operation in the LNG coastal transportation business, in addition to LNG bunkering for oceangoing vessels calling at ports in the Kyushu-Setouchi area.

According to shipowners, this is Japan’s first initiative to supply LNG fuel to ships over a wide area from Kyushu to Setouchi.

KEYS Azalea is also the first domestic LNG bunkering vessel equipped with a dual-fuel engine that can run on both LNG and heavy oil as fuel.

The partners expect that LNG will be a bridge solution for decarbonization, virtually eliminating sulfur oxide (SOx) emissions and reducing approximately 80% of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions, as well as 30% of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

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