Japan’s Fukuoka launches Ecobunker’s LNG bunkering vessel

Japan’s Fukuoka Shipbuilding launched on Tuesday a multi-bunkering vessel for compatriot Ecobunker Shipping.

The vessel owner is a joint venture consisting of Uyeno Transtech, Sumitomo, Yokohama-Kawasaki International Port, and Development Bank of Japan.

The ship named Ecobunker Tokyo Bay is capable of supplying both liquefied natural gas and very low sulfur fuel oil via a ship-to-ship method.

Futhermore, the 95.57 meters long and 15.8 meters wide bunkering vessel features a 2,500-cbm LNG tank and a 1500-cbm oil tank.

The LNG tank capacity equals around 1,500 tons of marine fuel oil.

According to the JV, this is enough fuel for an LNG-powered Panamax container ship or a car carrier to complete a round trip between Asia and North America.

Founded in late 2018, Ecobunker is looking to boost the use of LNG as fuel in Japan and help develop a bunkering hub in Tokyo Bay.

Japan, the world’s largest importer of chilled fuel, has seen a growing number of LNG fueling developments in the last couple of years as ports and shipowners look to comply with stricter shipping emissions.

Ecobunker has received the backing by the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism, and other government ministries and agencies.

The JV signed a shipbuilding contract for its first and only LNG bunkering vessel last year with Japan Marine United Corporation.

JMU is managing the whole project and completed the concept design for the ship and the LNG system.

Fukuoka Shipbuilding secured the hull design and construction contract while LNG tank fabrication including the cargo handling system were completed by Atlantic, Gulf & Pacific Company.

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