Singapore to explore LNG-fuelled car carriers with Japan

The Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) of Singapore signed a deal with Japan to conduct a feasibility study on liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering for car carriers.

Keiichi Ishii
Japan's transport Minister Keiichi Ishii explains how LNG bunkering in car carriers would help the industry. MPA

In the efforts to promote the liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering in Asia, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and the Ports and Harbours Bureau of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism of Japan (MLIT) will facilitate a feasibility study on LNG bunkering for car carriers plying between the two countries.

The study will comprise Japan's big three shippers: Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line), Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) and Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL).

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According to a joint statement by the two groups, the study will tackle the technical details such as fuel tank capacities and refuelling requirements to assess the feasibility of running

LNG-fuelled car carriers between Japan and Singapore.

The joint study was announced during the inaugural Singapore and Japan Port Seminar 2017. It is part of the activities undertaken by MPA and MLIT following their Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) that was signed in April 2017.

During the event, Minister for Transport of Singapore Khaw Boon Wan said the study could pave the way for a greener shipping.

"Shipping can be less pollutive and the International Maritime Organization has introduced a 0.5% global sulphur cap by 2020. In particular, the joint study on the feasibility of LNG bunkering for car carriers between Japan and Singapore offers great promise. It extends bilateral cooperation to shipping and raises bilateral cooperation to a new level," he said.

Meanwhile, Japan Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Keiichi Ishii said the two countries are spearheading a global effort to develop shipping with the promotion of LNG.

"I believe that Singapore, the world's top bunkering port,

and Japan, the world's top LNG importer, have the responsibility to contribute to the development of global shipping through jointly promoting the use of LNG as marine fuel." he said.

He furthered, "The joint feasibility study will play an important role in ensuring that the collaboration between the two countries yields concrete results. I strongly hope we will get great research results."