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Osaka Gas to supply Japan's first LNG-fuelled tug in 2019

25 May 2017 07:37 GMT

MOL-owned tug has been slated for construction at Kanagawa Dockyard.



Japan's Osaka Gas Co., Ltd. has been named as the company that will be supplying LNG bunker fuel to a tug that is due to begin operating in Osaka Bay in April 2019.

The LNG-fuelled tugboat has been slated for construction at Kanagawa Dockyard Co., Ltd. and is set to be the first LNG-powered tug in Japan.

Ordered by Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL), the tug is to be operated by Nihon Tug-Boat Co., Ltd.; it will be equipped with dual-fuel engines supplied by Yanmar Co., Ltd. and capable of running on either heavy fuel oil (HFO) or LNG.

MOL said the tug will conform to the International Code Of Safety For Ships Using Gases Or Other Low-Flash Point Fuels. The code stipulates safety requirements for vessels using gas and other low-ignition fuels, and was issued on January 1, 2017.

The tugboat will be built as part of the 'ISHIN Next - MOL Smart Ship Project', which was launched in November 2016 and focuses on "advanced support technologies for safer vessel operation" and "technologies for reducing environmental impact".

According to MOL, knowledge and expertise gained from the tugboat's construction and operation will then be used for the development of various types of LNG-fuelled ships, including the ISHIN-II ferry - a next-generation vessel concept that was completed in 2009.

Explaining how construction of the tug will also lead to an improvement in the local area's LNG bunkering infrastructure, MOL said: "The development of this tugboat will also spur the initial development of an LNG fuel supply system for vessels in Osaka Bay."

MOL added that construction of the tug "reflects MOL's proactive stance in promoting LNG fuel through [the] technological development of LNG-fueled vessels and enhancement of safe operation".

Earlier this year, MOL announced that it would be establishing a 'Bunker Business Office' as an independent office within its Energy Transport business unit.

"It will be an organization that purchases and prepares bunker oil and lubricant, establishes mid- and long-term policies to procure fuels while adhering to SOx regulations, etc. It will also accelerate initiatives concerning vessels with engines that use alternative fuel such as LNG. And it will participate in LNG and other fuel supply businesses in an integrated fashion," MOL explained in February.




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