Japanese Trio Eye Ship-To-Ship LNG Bunkering in Tokyo

Monday April 2, 2018

Three Japanese players are looking to introduce ship-to-ship liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering in Tokyo bay, with Sumitomo Corp, Thursday saying it had signed a memorandum on conducting a join study for the project with Uyeno Transtech Ltd and Yokohama-Kawasaki International Port Corporation.

"Expectations are high worldwide that it will serve as a more eco-friendly alternative fuel able to comply with tighter global cap on sulphur emissions from international shipping due to go into effect in 2020," Sumitomo said in a press release announcing the move.

"It is even forecast that about one-fourth of the world's ship fuel use will be switched over to LNG by 2030, producing a global rise in the demand for LNG fuel. At the same time, inadequate LNG bunkering infrastructure is among the reasons that Japan and the rest of Asia lag far behind such leading regions as Europe and the US in widely adopting LNG as marine fuel."

Japan is a major player in the LNG import space who in 2015 accounted for 35% of demand, according to data from energy major Shell.

Sumitomo joined LNG Bunker advocacy group SEA\LNG last year, who in turn singled out Japan last month as a "growing area of importance" for LNG-fuelled shipping and bunkering.