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Argus Media: Japan’s MOL adds LNG-fuelled vessel for coal deliveries

15 Dec 2020

Rieko Suda of the global energy and commodity price reporting agency Argus Media on Monday (14 December) published an update on Japanese shipping firm Mitsui OSK’s decision to commission a LNG powered coastal bulk carrier as part of Japan’s efforts to create an international LNG bunkering hub.

Japanese shipping firm Mitsui OSK Lines (Mol) has commissioned a LNG-fuelled bulk carrier to deliver imported coal from a domestic storage base to power firm Jera’s 4,100MW Hekinan coal-fired power plant in Aichi prefecture.

The 6,550 gross tonne (gt) Isemirai was commissioned on 11 December at Japanese shipbuilder Higaki Shipbuilding’s Namikata shipyard in Ehime prefecture’s Imabari. The ship is owned by Mol’s subsidiary Mol Coastal Shipping, utility Chubu Electric Power’s energy servicing subsidiary TechnoChubu and coastal shipowner Kyodokaiun.

The vessel is expected to transport coal from Chubu Coal Centre, a transit storage terminal for imported coal, in Mie prefecture’s Yokkaichi to Hekinan, Japan’s largest coal-fired power plant. It will replace the 2,330gt Isekyoei, a pusher/barge that is currently transporting around 1mn t/yr of coal from the Yokkaichi terminal to Hekinan.

The coastal bulk carrier is planned to be fuelled with LNG transported on trucks at Yokkaichi port using a truck-to-ship bunkering method, or with LNG stored at Jera’s Kawagoe LNG import terminal using a shore-to-ship method.

The Isemirai is the first LNG-fuelled coastal bulk carrier for operations in Japan, which has been developing domestic LNG bunkering infrastructure and expanding its fleet of coastal and ocean-going LNG-fuelled vessels as it develops an international LNG bunkering hub. Japan in October began ship-to-ship LNG bunkering operations following the launch of the first LNG-fuelled ocean-going vessel built in Japan, the Sakura Leader.

Photo credit and source:
Argus Media
Published: 15 December, 2020

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