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A joint venture between Uyeno Transtech Ltd., Sumitomo Corporation, and Yokohama-Kawasaki International Port Corporation (YKIP) will own and operate an LNG bunker barge in the area and begin ship-to-ship operations in 2020.

As previously reported, the three companies signed a memorandum of understanding in March to undertake a study on ship-to-ship LNG bunkering in Tokyo Bay.

At the time of the MoU, the companies noted that: ‘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.’

Commenting on the Japanese government’s decision to commit investment in the project, YKIP said: ‘In pursuit of promoting cleaner marine energy for the future, with little forecast of local demand in sight, YKIP believes that this challenge requires to ally and justifies to receive the governmental aid from national fund. Through tremendous efforts made and progressive initiatives taken by the trio to achieve the prior investment for future such government decision was finally made.  ‘

Earlier this month, the Central Shipping Japan Corporation (CLS) joint venture also announced further details about its plans to establish an LNG supply infrastructure.

The four partners in the joint venture - ‘K’ Line, Chubu Electric Power, Toyota Tsusho and NYK Line – will own and operate a 3,500 cbm capacity LNG bunker barge which will be built by Kawasaki Heavy Industries and is scheduled for delivery in the fourth quarter of 2020.

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