Japanese shipping major Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) has signed an agreement for the construction of an LNG-fueled tugboat with Kanagawa Dockyard.
The construction is slated to start in February 2018 and complete in February 2019. Launching is scheduled for April of the same year.
This deal marks MOL's first ownership of a tugboat powered by LNG-fuelled engines and it will be the first LNG-fuelled tugboat in Japan conforming to the IGF code. It is also Japan's first LNG-fuelled tugboat with the LNG fuel tank mounted on the exposed deck at the stern of the ship. This enhances convenience in bunkering, maintenance, and inspection.
The ship will be operated by Nihon Tug-Boat and it will be deployed in Osaka Bay in April 2019. LNG will be supplied by Osaka Gas using a truck-to-ship system.
MOL and Osaka Gas will establish an LNG fuel supply system for vessels, which will be the first in Osaka Bay and cooperate in the measures of LNG fuel supply development project conducted by Port and Harbor Bureau of Osaka Prefectural Government at the Sakai-senboku Port.
MOL will move ahead with research on practical use of an LNG fuel supply system with a detachable, portable LNG fuel tank, by adapting this design to the tugboat.
The company has conducted various researches related to LNG, such as a joint study of an LNG-fueled Capesize bulker, an Approval In Principle (AIP) for the future design of a series of LNG-powered 20,000 TEU-class containerships, and an AIP for the design of an LNG-powered coal carrier.