Photo: Kawasaki Heavy Industries

NYK orders first LPG-powered LPG/ammonia carrier

Japanese shipping company NYK Line has placed its first order for a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and liquefied ammonia gas (NH3) carrier powered by LPG fuel at compatriot shipbuilding company Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI).

The 86,700-cbm vessel is equipped with separate cargo tanks designed to carry LPG and ammonia at the same time. KHI plans to complete the construction of the vessels at its Sakaide Works in 2024.

As informed, the advantage of these types of vessels is their capability to simultaneously carry LPG, which is already used as a low-carbon energy source, and ammonia, which is also recognized as a green marine fuel.

Another feature is the greater capacity of the cargo tanks as compared to conventional carriers, which was achieved without significantly changing the vessel’s length, breadth, or other main specifications, according to the company.

In addition to this, the vessel is equipped with a shaft generator that converts the rotational energy of the main engine into electric power. This enables the gas carrier to stop all the diesel generators under normal sea-going conditions.

To meet environmental standards being tightened globally, the carrier will run on low-sulfur fuel oil and LPG which is expected to reduce the emission volumes of sulfur oxides [SOx], CO2, and other pollutants. Furthermore, the company anticipates that the unit will meet SOx emission standards set by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), as well as the IMO’s Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) Phase 3 regulations, which are scheduled to adopt stricter CO2 emission standards in 2022. 

In the future, KHI plans to develop and build more LPG-fuelled LPG carriers and other commercial vessels that meet environmental standards, as well as to develop other eco-friendly marine technologies, to contribute to the establishment of a low-carbon/decarbonized society. The company recently secured a contract from compatriot energy company Eneos Ocean Corporation to build another LPG-powered LPG/ammonia carrier.

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Meanwhile, NYK has also pushed forward with its plans to meet decarbonisation targets by announcing a joint project with US classification society American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) and Swiss engine developer Winterthur Gas & Diesel (WinGD) to research  for optimization of ship design by using a battery-hybrid system.

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