JAPAN’S Shin Kurushima Toyohashi Shipbuilding has laid the keel of what is claimed will be the world’s largest LNG-fuelled pure car and truck carrier (PCTC).

The 7,000 CEU (car equivalent unit) vessel is scheduled for delivery in 2020 to compatriot NYK and is the first LNG PCTC to be built in Japan, although NYK took delivery of the world’s first LNG-fuelled car carrier in 2017.

NYK says to minimize a reduction in vehicle loading capacity caused by the installation of LNG fuel tanks, in addition to optimizing major items such as ship width, several design initiatives for maximizing the cargo loading space will be implemented.

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With support from Japan’s Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism for its model project to reduce CO2 emissions by using alternative fuel, the vessel will be fitted with the technology to further cut CO2 output and verify performance during commercial voyages.

The ship will be about 40% more energy efficient (reducing CO2 emissions per unit of transport), far exceeding the International Maritime Organisation  EEDI (energy efficiency design index) phase 3 requirements that will become effective in 2025, NYK says. 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 ship will not be the first large PCTC to be LNG-fuelled: Siem Confucius, the first of two such vessels for Norwegian owner Siem Car Carriers ordered for long-term charter to Volkswagen AG, is currently running sea trials after launch by China’s Xiamen Shipbuilding.

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