Japan’s ports waive fees for LNG, hydrogen-powered ships

Kaguya bunkering vessel
Kaguya; Image courtesy: Kawasaki Heavy Industries

The Tokyo Port is waiving port entry fees for LNG-powered and hydrogen-powered vessels as a way of encouraging greater uptake of these fuels in the maritime sector.

Kaguya; Image courtesy: Kawasaki Heavy Industries

The waiver is set to enter into force on April 1 running for the remaining five years, until March 31, 2026.

According to the Tokyo metropolitan government, the neighboring ports of Yokohama and Kawasaki would also join the initiative of exempting LNG-powered and LNG bunkering ships from entry fees.

Japan has been pushing forward with LNG bunkering projects.

The country is set on making Tokyo Bay and the Port of Yokohama as the world’s leading LNG bunkering hubs.

Specifically, in August last year, Fukuoka Shipbuilding launched Ecobunker Tokyo Bay, a multi-bunkering vessel capable of both ship-to-ship LNG and VLSFO bunkering.

The 95.5 meter-long vessel is capable of holding 2.500 cubic meters of the chilled fuel. It also has a 1,500-cbm VLFSO tank capacity.

Over the past year, the country also welcomed LNG bunkering vessel Kaguya.

Kaguya carried out its first ship-to-ship LNG fuel supply in October 2020 marking the start of the LNG bunkering business in the Chubu region.

Further developments in the field are being announced this year as well. Namely, in February 2021, Petronas Trading Corporation (Petco) signed a deal with Sumitomo Corporation for LNG bunkering in Malaysia and Tokyo Bay, Japan.

Petco, a unit of Malaysian energy giant Petronas, signed a memorandum of collaboration with Sumitomo to jointly market and supply LNG and related services through Petronas Marine.

LNG can now be delivered to vessels in some 96 ports, including most of the main bunkering ports, with a further 55 ports in the process of facilitating LNG bunkering investments and operations, according to SEA LNG.

As of January 2020, there are 12 LNG bunkering ships in operation with a further 27 on order and / or undergoing commissioning, the majority due to come into service within the next two years.