NYK books fifth LPG-powered LPG/ammonia carrier at Kawasaki

Japenese shipping company Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK) has ordered its fifth liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) dual-fuel very large LPG/liquefied ammonia gas carrier (VLGC) from compatriot shipbuilder Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI).

Courtesy of NYK

Like previously ordered vessels, the new 86,700 cbm carrier will be built at the KHI Sakaide Works shipyard and is set for delivery in 2026.

This vessel is the seventh in NYK’s fleet of LPG-fueled LPG carriers and the fifth in a new type of vessel that is also capable of carrying ammonia and will be equipped with separate cargo tanks designed to carry LPG and ammonia at the same time to flexibly respond to various trade patterns.

NYK ordered the first two such vessels at the end of 2021. The third and fourth units were ordered in the spring and summer of 2022, respectively.

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In addition to the LPG dual-fuel engine, the ship will have a shaft generator that can generate electricity during the voyage by using the rotation of the shaft that connects the main engine to the propeller.

Since the diesel generator can be stopped during normal seagoing transit, realizing full navigation with LPG fuel will be possible except for the use of a small amount of pilot fuel, NYK explains.

With LPG as fuel, it is estimated that the exhaust gas from the ordered VLGC will contain at least 95% less sulfur oxide (SOx) and 20% less CO2 compared to NYK’s conventional VLGCs using heavy-oil-fired engines.

The new VLGC will also comply with the SOx Global Cap regulations that were tightened in January 2020 and with the IMO’s Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) Phase 3 regulations, which implemented stricter CO2 emission standards from April 2022.

Moreover, the vessel is expected to be given notations by Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (ClassNK) as a VLGC that has a preparatory design in accordance with the guidelines issued by the classification society so that this vessel may use ammonia fuel in the future.