JAPAN’S first LNG bunkering vessel was delivered at Mitsubishi Shipbuilding’s Yamatomachi shipyard this past week.

Keys Bunkering West Japan named and launched Keys Azalea last year, and its formal delivery on 28 March will see it deployed in waters around Kyushu and Setouchi.

Keys is a joint venture between NYK Line, Kyushu Electric Power, Itochu Enex and Saibu Gas. It claims to be the first bunkering project to supply LNG to vessels in the area.

Keys Azalea is to provide domestic coastal transport of LNG to consumers in the Kyushu and Setouchi areas and LNG bunkering for oceangoing vessels calling ports in the region,” the companies said in a statement.

Keys Azalea is Japan’s first LNG bunkering vessel equipped with a dual-fuel engine that can use both LNG and heavy oil as fuel for the main power generation system.

“The four companies and Keys will continue to contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions toward realising a carbon-neutral society.”

Keys and local dignitaries marked Keys Azalea’s delivery with a ceremony at the shipyard on 28 March, which included a Shinto blessing over the vessel. Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism also attended the ceremony.