Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) has begun a feasibility study for liquid natural gas (LNG) bunkering in the port of Yokohama.

With the first LNG bunkering facility development project in the country, MLIT intends to establish a LNG bunkering hub in Yokohama, in-line with other environmentally advanced ports in the region.

Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK Line) and Tokyo Gas are being invited to join a steering committee that will develop the LNG bunkering project. The committee plans to present its report by the end of the year, reported Tug Technology & Business.

"Last year, NYK Line launched a LNG-fuelled tug boat in the port of Yokohama."

Last year, NYK Line launched a LNG-fuelled tug boat in the port of Yokohama, while Japan-based Toyko Gas supplied LNG to the tug boat from a LNG truck.

MLIT noted that the steering committee involved in the LNG bunkering project has selected the port of Yokohama along with the ports of Kobe, Osaka, Tokyo, and Kawasaki as an international container hub.

Yokohama Kawasaki International Port; Yokohama City Office; the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy; the Ministry for Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism; and the Japan Coast Guard are also involved in the committee.

In March this year, MLIT, Yokohama City Office and Kawasaki City Office established a new government-owned port operating company, Yokohama Kawasaki International Port (YKIP), to strengthen the operational capability of those ports.

Last month, the Government of Japan revealed its strategy for developing the LNG market with an aim to promote LNG bunkering.