MOL Trials LNG-Fuelled Tugboat at Kobe

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

September 18, 2019

LNG fuel bunkering. Pic: MOL

LNG fuel bunkering. Pic: MOL

Japanese shipping company Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) has taken part in the first bunkering of liquefied natural gas (LNG) into a tugboat at the Port of Kobe, Japan.

At the Port of Kobe, the tugboat “Ishin” was bunkered with LNG. It is the first LNG-fuelled tugboat in Japan and it is operated by a MOL group subsidiary, Nihon Tug-Boat.

LNG fuel for the trial was hauled by a tanker truck from the Himeji LNG Plant of Osaka Gas, and, via a truck-to-ship system, was used to supply Ishin, berthed at Kobe Port’s Shinko Pier No.4. MOL Marine Co. has also provided maritime consulting in the trial.

Effective January 2020, vessel exhaust emission regulations will be tightened on a global scale.

In response to the new standards, an increasing number of LNG-fueled vessels are coming into service, making the development of LNG bunkering ports in Japan an urgent task.

Group companies are working together to promote the wider adoption of LNG fuel for vessels and reduce environmental impact through the safe operation of Ishin.

The Ishin's environmental performance – including an estimated 25% reduction in CO2 emissions in comparison to tugs that run on A fuel oil – earned the top rating of four stars from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism's energy-saving rating program for Japan's coastal ships.

MOL established the Bunker Business Office to accelerate its initiatives on LNG and other alternative vessel fuels, and is taking an integrated approach to entering the business of supplying LNG and other fuels.

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