World’s first LNG-fuelled panamax commences operation

The world’s first LNG-fueled Panamax-class1 coal carrier, which was built for Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (“NYK”), was delivered on October 2. The vessel was named “Shoyo” in a naming ceremony held at the Koyagi Shipyard of Oshima Shipyard Co., Ltd., and began operations after completing the first bunkering.

“The Shoyo is about 234.7 meters in length, with a deadweight of 95,233 tons, and is registered with the ClassNK. Nippon Yusen emphasized that Shoyo received its LNG-fuel supply at the port of Tobata (Fukuoka Prefecture) on October 12. Bunkering was carried out via shore-to-ship, which supplies fuel directly from the handling facility on shore to the vessel. This was the first shore-to-ship bunkering for an oceangoing LNG-fueled vessel in Japan. The ship is designed to be compatible with both shore-to-ship and ship-to-ship bunkering, the latter of which is the supply of LNG fuel from an LNG bunkering vessel to a ship. From March 2024, a newly built LNG-fueled bunkering vessel based in the Setouchi and Kyushu area could deliver LNG fuel through ship-to-ship bunkering.

Oshima Shipbuilding stated that it has signed another two LNG dual-fuel large coal carriers with Nippon Yusen, which are scheduled for completion and delivery in 2025.

The ship is said to be the latest in a series of LNG dual-fuel vessels, a rapidly expanding segment that now also includes the introduction of crude oil tankers, container ships and cruise ships. According to DNV’s Alternative Fuels Database, there are a total of 438 LNG-fueled ships currently in operation worldwide, and DNV says the LNG-fueled fleet is set to double to nearly 1,000 ships in the next five years.

DNV reported that there are 38 LNG-fueled bulk carriers in the world, with another 35 on order from shipyards. Finland’s ESL Shipping took delivery of its first LNG dual-fuel bulk carriers in 2018, but they were all smaller vessels of 25,600 dwt. This year, following East Pacific Shipping’s delivery of its first LNG dual-fuel Newcastlemax bulk carrier in February, Himalayan Shipping also took delivery of its first LNG dual-fuel Newcastlemax bulk carrier in March, both of which are 209,000 dwt. By the end of August, Himalaya had taken delivery of six of the 12 LNG dual-fuel bulk carriers from New Times Shipbuilding.


Yangzijiang Shipbuilding

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