NYK’s LNG carrier fleet expands to 91 vessels

Japan’s shipping giant NYK said its fleet of operational liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers rose to 91 vessels by the end of March this year.

NYK had 86 operational LNG carriers in its fleet at the end of September last year.

According to a presentation by NYK for fiscal 2023, its LNG carrier fleet included 78 owned or co-owned LNG carriers and 13 chartered vessels by the end of March this year.

NYK said it has “obtained new long-term stable contracts in the LNG carrier business and expanded the number of vessels involved to more than 120 by FY2027.”

This incudes pre-delivery vessels with long-term charters.

During the fiscal 2023, NYK’s LNG carrier business remained “steady” supported by the long-term contracts, and NYK expects the business in fiscal 2024 to “remain firm, backed by stable earnings from medium- to long-term contracts and the start of new projects.”

In December last year, NYK also revealed it is working with Namura Shipbuilding and Sasebo Heavy Industries to replace the main propulsion on steam turbine–driven Moss-type LNG carriers with a dual-fuel diesel engine.

The three companies will replace the main propulsion of steam turbine–driven LNG carriers with dual-fuel, low-speed diesel engines, called X-DF engines.

LNG fuel

Besides LNG carriers, NYK is expanding its fleet of “environment-friendly” vessels, including LNG-fueled vessels, LPG-fueled vessels, and methanol-fueled vessels.

According to NYK, it had 17 LNG-fueled vessels and two LNG bunkering vessels in its fleet at the end of March this year.

This includes 13 LNG-powered car carriers, two LNG-powered bulkers, and two LNG-powered shuttle tankers.

NYK took delivery of its seventh LNG-powered PCTC, Sweet Pea Leader, in October last year, as part of its plans to introduce 20 LNG-fueled PCTCs in its fleet by 2028.

The shipping firm is positioning LNG fuel as one of the bridge solutions until future zero-emission ships are realized.

It took delivery of Japan’s first LNG-powered PCTC, Sakura Leader, in October 2020, followed by the delivery of its second PCTC, Plumeria Leader, in March 2022.

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