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Argus Media: Japan’s Yokohama port advances plan for LNG bunkering

01 Jun 2021

Rieko Suda of global energy and commodity price reporting agency Argus Media on Monday (31 May) published a report highlighting LNG bunkering in Yokohama port

The city of Yokohama has agreed to co-operate with Japanese shipping firm NYK Line, cruise ship operator NYK Cruises and joint venture Ecobunker Shipping in receiving an LNG-fuelled cruise ship at Yokohama port and carrying out safe LNG bunkering operations. The four parties are planning to discuss plans and procedures in detail towards 2025, when NYK Cruises plans to launch a LNG-fuelled cruise ship.

Yokohama port has been working to set up LNG bunkering operations, targeting to strengthen the port’s logistics competitiveness as the first and last port of call on the Pacific route to North America. It has since 2018 been part of Ecobunker Shipping, which is expected to commission the LNG bunkering vessel Ecobunker Tokyo Bay and start ship-to-ship LNG bunkering later this year in Tokyo bay.

Port entry fees are now waived at Yokohama port for LNG-fuelled and LNG bunkering vessels as an incentive to expand the use of LNG as a marine fuel.

The Yokohama city government is building a dedicated mooring facility for Ecobunker’s LNG bunkering vessel at Yokohama port’s Honmoku A jetty, located next to the port’s terminals for container vessels, cruise ships and car carriers. The vessel is expected to deploy LNG bunkering operations from its base at Yokohama port to other Tokyo bay ports, such as Chiba, Kisarazu, Tokyo, and Yokosuka.

The port’s LNG bunkering initiative coincides with the Japanese government’s strategy to develop Yokohama as a carbon-neutral port as part of efforts to achieve its 2050 decarbonisation target. LNG is expected to play a key role as a marine fuel during a transition period to carbon-neutral hydrogen and ammonia.

A committee set up by the government and private firms has identified the potential demand for hydrogen, or ammonia, at Yokohama-Kawasaki port totalling 2.67mn t/yr under its plan to become a carbon-neutral port. The possible projects include bunkering for an ammonia-fuelled tugboat planned to be developed by NYK Line and co-firing of biomass or ammonia at power firm J-Power’s 1,200MW Isogo coal-fired power plant at Yokohama.

Yokohama port is targeting to develop a supply chain of carbon-neutral fuels utilising the existing infrastructure and to promote a fuel shift to hydrogen and ammonia for power generation, shipping and manufacturing at nearby areas. A cross-industry group is already co-operating with Yokohama city to launch pilot operations of a hydrogen-powered fuel cell ferry at Yokohama port in 2024. The members include NYK Line, refiners Eneos and Toa Oil, gas firm Tokyo Gas, power utilities Jera and J-Power, along with steel producer JFE Steel.


Photo credit and source: Argus Media
Published: 1 June, 2021

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