Japan’s first certified LNG-fueled tugboat soon to be constructed

Japan's first certified LNG-fueled tugboat soon to be constructed
Japan’s first certified LNG-fueled tugboat soon to be constructed

Japanese carrier Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL), the ninth largest container shipping company in the world, has signed a deal for the construction of what will be Japan’s first certified LNG-fueled tugboat.

The vessel is Japan’s first LNG-fueled tugboat with the LNG fuel tank mounted on the exposed deck at the stern of the ship and conforming to the IGF code, which regulates safety requirements for vessels that run on gas and low-flashpoint fuels.

This enhances convenience in bunkering, maintenance, and inspection.

The construction, carried out by with Kanagawa Dockyard Co starts in February 2018 and completes in February 2019, with its launch scheduled for April.

This marks MOL’s first ownership of a tugboat powered by LNG-fueled engines that can run on both heavy oil and LNG, produced by Yanmar Co.

MOL will also be moving ahead with research on practical use of an LNG fuel supply system with a detachable, portable LNG fuel tank, by adapting this design to the tugboat.

The vessel will be operated by Nihon Tug-Boat Co., and it will be deployed in Japan’s Osaka Bay in April 2019.

LNG fuel will be supplied by Osaka Gas Co., using a truck-to-ship system.

Osaka Gas and MOL will establish an LNG fuel supply system for vessels, which will be the first in Osaka Bay and cooperate in the measures of LNG fuel supply development project conducted by Port and Harbor Bureau of Osaka Prefectural Government at the Sakai-senboku Port.

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