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Osaka Gas Co. has announced the launch of a ship-to-ship LNG bunkering business in the Osaka Bay and the Seto Inland Sea.

The company is planning to start the operation of a 1,500-tonne LNG bunkering vessel in 2026, Osaka Gas said earlier this week.

‘This commercial undertaking, in which Osaka Gas will sell and provide LNG, aims to supply LNG fuel to LNG-fuelled ships using a bunkering vessel, which will carry LNG loaded at the facilities located in Osaka Gas’ LNG terminals,’ the company said in a statement.

The bunkering business was adopted as a project eligible for the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism’s LNG bunkering hub development programme this year.

The bunkering vessel construction will be led by Osaka Bay LNG Shipping Co. (OLS), a company jointly established by Osaka Gas International Transport Inc. (OGIT), NS United Coastal Tanker Kaisha (NSUT) and Kobe-Osaka International Port Corporation (HPC).

OLS will own the LNG bunkering vessel, LNG coastal vessel operator NSUT will manage and operate the vessel while HPC will promote the business and LNG bunkering across the shipping industry in cooperation with relevant government agencies, port administrator and officials.

‘An increasing number of LNG-fuelled vessels is expected to come into operation in the years to come due to the global trend of marine fuel decarbonisation,’ Osaka Gas said. ‘The International Maritime Organization has set a target of a 50% reduction in the greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 from the 2008 level. Introducing e-methane, carbon neutral synthetic methane Osaka Gas is developing to LNG-fuelled vessels will further accelerate the decarbonisation on bunker fuel.’

Osaka Gas added that Daigas Group, its group brand dedicated to accelerating its growth in overseas energy sectors, intends to: ‘expand the LNG bunkering business and achieve the commercialisation of e-methane and its application to bunkering, aiming to contribute to the lower carbon and decarbonised marine transportation industry.’

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