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Ecobunker Shipping Co., NYK Line, NYK Cruises and the City of Yokohama have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to develop LNG bunkering facilities for cruise ships at the Port of Yokohama in Japan.

The initiative is part of a wider effort to develop Tokyo Bay as a major LNG bunkering hub.

As previously reported, Ecobunker Shipping has an LNG bunkering vessel under construction by Fukuoka Shipbuilding. The 95-metre-long tanker has capacity for 2,500 cubic metres (cbm) of LNG and 1,500 cbm of conventional bunker fuel. Completion of the vessel is expected by the end of 2021

Ecobunker Shipping was established in November 2018 as a joint venture between Uyeno Transtech, Sumitomo, Yokohama-Kawasaki International Port Co., and the Development Bank of Japan.

In April this year, German shipyard Meyer Werft announced it had signed a contract with Japan’s NYK Cruises for the construction of an LNG-fuelled, 51,950 GT cruise ship – the first newbuilding order for a cruise vessel since the pandemic began.

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