NYK says world’s first LNG-powered Panamax bulker starts operations

Japan’s NYK has started shipping coal for compatriot Kyushu Electric Power (Kyuden) with what it says is the world’s first LNG-powered Panamax-class bulk carrier.

According to a statement by NYK, Oshima Shipyard’s Koyagi yard delivered the Panamax-class bulk carrier, Shoyo, on October 2.

Ships having a deadweight tonnage of 70,000 to 99,999 dwt are categorized as Panamax-class bulkers, it said.

The newbuild is 235 meters long and 38 meters wide with gross tonnage of 95,233 tons.

NYK operates Shoyo and transports coal from overseas to Kyuden’s coal-fired power plants.

The firm and Kyuden concluded a long-term transport agreement on December 25, 2019.

After delivery, the vessel completed a shore-to-ship LNG bunkering operation at the loading facility of Kitakyushu Liquefied Natural Gas, a 75 percent owned unit of Kyuden, and began operations, NYK said.

This operation at the port of Tobata, Fukuoka, was the first shore-to-ship bunkering for an oceangoing LNG-fueled vessel in Japan, NYK claims.

The ship can take LNG fuel via shore-to-ship and ship-to-ship bunkering.

From March 2024, a newly built LNG bunkering vessel based in the Setouchi and Kyushu area will deliver LNG fuel through ship-to-ship bunkering, NYK said.

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