Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) Group unit Mitsubishi Shipbuilding has signed a contract with Sanyu Kisen, based in Kobe, Japan, to build a demonstration test vessel.

The newbuild vessel will be deployed to carry liquefied carbon dioxide (LCO₂).

The project will progress along with initiatives from the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), namely the Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) R&D and Demonstration Related Project; Large-scale CCUS Demonstration in Tomakomai; Demonstration Project on CO₂ Transportation; and R&D and Demonstration Project for CO₂ Marine Transportation.

The new ship will be constructed at the Enoura Plant of MHI’s Shimonoseki Shipyard and Machinery Works.

Delivery of the vessel is projected to take place in the second half of 2023.

As the subcontractor, Sanyu Kisen will charter the ship to the Engineering Advancement Association of Japan (ENAA).

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ENAA will use the new ship for the purpose of the project.

Additionally, under consignment from ENAA, three additional project partners will carry out R&D in connection with the LCO₂ transportation technology.

These project partners are Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K LINE), Nippon Gas Line and Ochanomizu University.

They will work together to reduce the cost of CCUS technology as well as secure long-distance and large-scale transportation of LCO₂.

Furthermore, the newbuild is anticipated to be the world’s first LCO₂ carrier intended specifically for CCUS.

Under this project, Mitsubishi Shipbuilding will be responsible for the ship design and construction, including the cargo containment system.

The firm will also use its gas handling capabilities and expertise gathered through the development of liquefied gas carriers.

Last November, NYK Line signed an agreement with Mitsubishi Shipbuilding to develop a large-scale LCO­₂ carrier.