THE WORLD’s first LNG-fuelled Panamax coal carrier has commenced operation and, according to AIS data, is now on its way to Newcastle.

The 235-metre LOA, 59,233 DWT vessel Shoyo has been under construction at Oshima Shipyard in Japan and was delivered on 2 October.

NYK began operating the ship after the first LNG fuel bunkering at the port of Tobata on 12 October.

“Bunkering was carried out via shore-to-ship, which supplies fuel directly from the handling facility on shore to the vessel,” NYK said.

“This was the first shore-to-ship bunkering for an oceangoing LNG-fuelled vessel in Japan. The ship is designed to be compatible with both shore-to-ship and ship-to-ship bunkering, the latter of which is the supply of LNG fuel from an LNG bunkering vessel to a ship.”

Shoyo will transport coal from overseas to Kyushu Electric Power’s coal-fired power plants.

NYK and Kyushu Electric Power (Kyuden) plan to work together toward stable fuel transportation and reduced environmental impact.

“The use of LNG fuel offers excellent environmental performance compared with traditional marine fuels, virtually eliminating sulfur oxide emissions and reducing approximately 80% of nitrogen oxide emissions and 30% of carbon dioxide emissions,” NYK said.

“We continue to contribute to realising a low-carbon society amid the tightening of environmental regulations worldwide.”

Shoyo is currently due to arrive in Newcastle on 31 October.