Spotted: Sakigake Blazes Path into LNG Territory

Japanese shipping and logistics company NYK recently took delivery of the country’s first LNG-fueled tugboat named Sakigake, roughly translated as the pathfinder or the one that is the first to charge.

Sakigake has been chartered to Wing Maritime Service Corporation from NYK, and will be operated mainly at the ports of Yokohama and Kawasaki. This vessel is the second environment-friendly tugboat operated by Wing Maritime Service Corporation, following the delivery of Tsubasa in March 2013.

The new tug is equipped with dual-fuel engines that can use either of LNG and diesel oil, depending on conditions. Compared with conventional tugboats that use marine diesel oil, Sakigake emits about 30 percent less carbon dioxide, 80 percent less nitrogen oxide, and no sulfur oxide when using LNG as fuel, according to NYK.

LNG for this vessel will be supplied from a tanker truck at a pier in Yokohama. Back in July 2015, a trial fueling of the vessel from a tanker truck was successfully carried out for the first time in Japan.

This project received subsidies from Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.