On August 31 at the Oppama factory of Keihin Dock Co. Ltd.,* NYK received delivery of Japan’s first LNG-fueled tugboat. The vessel has been named “Sakigake” and is expected to confirm the viability of LNG (liquefied natural gas) as a marine fuel and to help cultivate a new business field in the area of LNG as an environment-friendly marine fuel.
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 absolutely no sulfur oxide when using LNG as fuel.
The small size of most tugboats, the limited amount of space, and the large variation in engine power make it difficult to create an LNG-fueled tugboat. Keihin Dock Co. Ltd. was able to achieve an excellent level of environmental performance while maintaining the same hull form and steering performance of existing tugboats. To do this, Keihin Dock made full use of its knowledge and technical strengths, and worked closely with Niigata Power Systems Co. Ltd. (head office: Tokyo; president: Kazuhiko Motoyama) to design and manufacture the dual-fuel engine, and Air Water Plant & Engineering Inc. (head office: Osaka; president: Noboru Sumiya) to develop equipment for supplying LNG.
LNG for this vessel will be supplied from a tanker truck at a pier in Yokohama,**** and much effort has been made together with the supplier, Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd. (head office: Tokyo; president: Michiaki Hirose), to ensure that the LNG can be safely and efficiently supplied in compliance with relevant laws and regulations. In fact, 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, which support projects promising energy-saving logistics and innovative maritime transport improvements. Nippon Kaiji Kyokai also provided joint research support.
The NYK Group has already constructed the world’s first LNG-fueled car carrier, in addition to an LNG supply vessel, and the group is set to participate in the LNG bunkering business. In accordance with the group’s medium-term management plan, “More Than Shipping 2018,” NYK will contribute to the continued spread and development of LNG fuel for ships, applying the knowledge and know-how the company has gained through the expansion of its eco-friendly operations.
– Outline of Sakigake
- Length overall: 37.20 meters
- Breadth: 10.20 meters
- Molded depth: 4.40 meters
- Gross tonnage: 272 tons
- Main engine: NIIGATA 6L28AHX-DF x 2
- Shipowner: NYK
- Flag: Japan
- Class: Nippon Kaiji Kyokai
- Other: Patents are pending for the LNG receiving system and LNG carburetion system used on board
* Keihin Dock Co. Ltd.
Head office: Yokohama, Kanagawa; president: Tsutomu Shoji
A wholly owned subsidiary of NYK whose main business consists of the construction and repair of small boats.
** Wing Maritime Service Corporation
Head office: Yokohama, Kanagawa; president: Toshinori Yamashita
A wholly owned subsidiary of NYK that operates 20 tugboats at the ports of Yokohama, Kawasaki, and Chiba.
A hybrid tugboat propelled by the combination of a diesel engine (heavy oil) and a motor (electricity) equipped with a high-performance battery, achieving a 20 percent reduction in CO2 emissions.
**** Supply of LNG
LNG will be supplied to the ship through a flexible hose that stretches from a tank truck to the vessel.