NYK orders large LNG-fuelled car carrier

Mr Takaya Soga, managing corporate officer of NYK, attended the keel laying ceremony for the new LNG-fuelled PCTC on 20 September. Mr Takaya Soga, managing corporate officer of NYK, attended the keel laying ceremony for the new LNG-fuelled PCTC on 20 September.

Japan’s NYK Line has placed an order for an LNG-fuelled pure car and truck carrier (PCTC). The 200 metre-long vessel is expected to become the world’s largest LNG-fuelled PCTC when it enters service, with the capacity to carry up to 7,000 cars.

The ship, which is scheduled to be delivered in 2020, will be the first large LNG-fuelled PCTC to be built in Japan. A contract has been signed with Shin Kurushima Toyohashi Shipbuilding Co. Ltd, which is located in Aichi prefecture. The shipyard is a long-term collaborator with NYK, having previously built Japan’s first post Panamax car carrier, the 7,000 CEU Aries Leader in 2014.

In order to minimise the reduction in cargo loading space by shifting to LNG as the vessel’s primary fuel, the vessel has a wider profile, with a beam of 38 metres, an increase of over 2 metres compared with Aries Leader. The new vessel also has an increased weight of 73,500 gt, around 3,570 gt above Aries Leader.

The details of the new vessel's engine configuration could not be confirmed. Aries Leader is powered by a Mitsui MAN B&W 7S60ME-C8.2 electronically-controlled, two-stroke engine, produced at the Tamano works of MAN licensee Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding. The diesel was specified at a maximum continuous output of 13,750kW at 105rpm, and provides direct drive for a maximum speed of 21 knots.

Several other designs to maximizing the cargo loading space will be implemented, ensuring the new vessel will be able to transport approximately 7,000 units (standard vehicle equivalent) per voyage.

The new vessel is expected to achieve approximately 40 percent fewer emissions compared to standard pure car and carriers, compared with the 30 percent achieved by Aries Leader, which included energy saving features such as air lubrication, and a hybrid turbocharger.

NYK notes that the new PCTC will significantly exceed the International Maritime Organization (IMO) EEDI phase 3 requirements for car carriers, which will take effect from 2025. The vessel is additionally expected to reduce sulfur oxide (SOx) emissions by approximately 99% and nitrogen oxides (NOx) by approximately 86% compared to conventional heavy oil–fired engines.

The project is receiving support from two Japanese ministries: Japan’s Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.

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