Four Japanese firms plan LNG bunker business in Chubu

K Line, NYK, Toyota Tsusho and Chubu Electric Power in discussions to supply LNG to ships in central Japan.

Image credit: Pixabay CC0

Updated on 26 Jan 2018 15:41 GMT

K Line, Chubu Electric Power, Toyota Tsusho Corporation, and NYK Line on Friday announced that they have begun joint discussions on the commercialization of a new business to supply LNG as a marine fuel to ships in the Chubu region of Japan.

"The four companies will jointly discuss specific LNG customers and supply methods in preparation for the commercialization of [the] LNG bunkering business," a statement said.

The Chubu region includes Nagoya, which was the port to record Japan's fourth-biggest container volume in 2016, handling 2.65 million TEUs, according to data released by the Nagoya municipal government.

Other ports in the region include Atami, Ito, Mikawa, Numazu, Oigawa, Omaezaki, Shimizu, Shimoda, Tagonoura, Toba and Yokkaichi.

NYK Line is already a shareholder in LNG bunker supply specialist Gas4Sea together with Engie and Mitsubishi. The firm also announced a partnership with another power company, Kyushu Electric Power Co. Inc., last year.

Additionally, NYK teamed up in 2016 with Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism and Tokyo Gas to examine the possibility of establishing LNG bunkering stations in Japan, with Yokohama being used as a test case.

K Line, meanwhile, agreed last year to work on a joint study with K Line Kinkai to develop an LNG-fuelled passenger ferry for K Line Kinkai.

The ship owner also forms part of a working group to conduct a feasibility study on LNG bunkering for car carriers operating between Japan and Singapore.