Japan reveals plan to turn Yokohama port into LNG bunkering hub

Japan reveals plan to turn Yokohama port into LNG bunkering hub
Truck to ship LNG bunkering at the Port of Yokohama (Image courtesy of Tokyo Gas)

Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, on Monday informed a feasibility study report on the development of LNG bunkering hub at the port of Yokohama has been completed. 

The ministry established a steering committee in June this year, comprising Tokyo Gas, NYK Line, Yokohama Kawasaki International Port, the city of Yokohama, Agency of Natural Resources and Energy of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Maritime Bureau, Ports and Harbours Bureau and Japan Coast Guard, to study the possibilities of developing an LNG bunkering hub at the port.

According to MLIT’s statement, since IMO’s decision to implement the ship emissions regulations starting in 2020, it is expected that the number of LNG-fueled vessels will increase.

In October, the International Maritime Organization’s Marine Environmental Protection Committee decided to implement a global cap limiting the sulphur content of marine fuels to 0.5 percent.

“In order to respond to the spread of LNG fueled ships, it is important to establish LNG bunkering Hubs at the ports in Japan and enhance their competitiveness,” MLIT said in a statement.

With the completion of seven meeting since June, the steering committee created a roadmap for the development of LNG bunkering infrastructure, consisting of three phases. In the first phase that started with the release of the feasibility study, truck to ship bunkering operations need to be optimized.

Phase two will see the start of ship-to-ship bunkering from 2020 either by using an LNG bunkering ship or a barge, while in the third phase the steering committee plans to strengthen the ship-to-ship bunkering once the demand reaches a certain scale.

Assessing a number of projections, the committee says a common point is that the demand for LNG as fuel will continue rising each year.

About 200 LNG fuelled ships were confirmed as of August 2016 (including those planned), and about 70 LNG-ready ships, which are planned to be remodeled to be LNG fuelled, were also confirmed (including those planned).

Since a tightening of global sulfur cap will be introduced in 2020, the number of LNG fuelled ships is expected to increase significantly in the future, the report shows.

 

LNG World News Staff

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