Japanese shipping firm Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) has launched its third LNG-fuelled car carrier, advancing in its goal of operating 20 such carriers by March 2029.
The 72,800 gross tonne Jasmine Leader, which can carry 7,000 passenger cars, entered Japan’s western Hiroshima port on 27 February after being fuelled up by LNG bunker barge Kaguya. The barge is based at Japanese power utility Jera’s Kawagoe LNG import terminal in Mie prefecture.
The new ship will mainly transport automobiles manufactured by domestic carmaker Mazda.
It was built by Chinese state-owned shipbuilder China Merchants Nanjing Jinling Shipyard after NYK placed an order in 2021 for four car carriers with the same specification. Jasmine Leader is the first of the four to be launched.
NYK launched its first LNG-fuelled vessel Sakura Leader in October 2020, which was followed by the Plumeria Leader in March 2022. These ships were built at the Shin Kurushima Toyohashi Shipbuilding yard, for Japanese car manufacturer Toyota.
Some ports in Tokyo, Ise/Mikawa, Osaka, Tomakomai and Kita-Kyushu bays will waive or reduce the port entry fees for ships that are fuelled by LNG and LNG bunker barges to incentivise use of alternative marine fuels. But the port of Hiroshima has not introduced such a measure so far.
By Maiko Nakashima
Photo credit and source: Argus Media
Published: 2 March, 2023
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