Japan’s K Line working on large LNG-powered fleet

Japan’s shipping giant K Line aims to have about 40 LNG-powered vessels in its fleet by 2030 as part of the company’s plans to slash emissions.

K Line revealed this in a report released on December 2 discussing the company’s medium-term and long-term plans.

Last year, the firm took delivery of its first LNG-powered car carrier named Century Highway Green.

During the same year, K Line signed deals for eight LNG-powered car carriers, including orders for six ships at three shipyards. The firm chartered two PCTCs from SFL.

It also ordered one LNG-powered bulk carrier backed by a charter with Japanese steel manufacturer JFE Steel.

“In the 2020s, the company plans to expand its fleet of LNG-fueled ships by launching approximately 40 vessels by 2030,” K Line said in the new report.

“K Line has also commenced R&D into ammonia-fueled ships, with the aim of commercializing and introducing a zero-emissions vessel as early as possible in the 2020s,” it said.

LNG carriers one of the main growth drivers

K Line singled out coal and iron ore carriers, car carriers, and LNG carriers as the three growth drivers for its business.

The firm ordered new LNG carriers this year, including the vessels that are part of the giant QatarEnergy shipbuilding program.

K Line said it plans to invest a cumulative total of about 520 billion yen ($3.8 billion) during the medium-term management plan period from fiscal 2022-2026, of which approximately 80 percent, or 370 billion yen would go to the coal and iron ore, car, and LNG carrier businesses.

“At the same time, if we categorize this 520 billion yen into environmental and general investments, approximately 60 percent will be allocated to environmental investments, mainly to increase vessels using LNG, LPG, ammonia, and other alternative fuels, with the remaining 40 percent allocated to general investments,” the firm said.

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