Japanese shipping company NYK Line has signed a shipbuilding contract with China Merchants Jinling Shipyard for four liquefied natural gas (LNG)-fuelled pure car and truck carriers (PCTCs).

The vessels will be delivered from 2022 to 2023. They are expected to be used to transport automobiles primarily to / from Europe and / or to the Middle East.

The ships will have a length and breadth of approximately 199.90m and 38m respectively.

With a car capacity of 7,000 units, the newbuilds will possess a gross tonnage of 72,800t.

NYK said that for the first time in the world, WinGD’s X-DF2.0 iCER main engine will be featured on the ships.

The engine consumes less gas and cuts down greenhouse gas (GHG) by reducing methane emissions from the exhaust gas by nearly 50%.

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In addition, the ships will be installed with battery hybrid technology.

The technology will increase the efficiency of fuel by mitigating the main engine and electrical generator load fluctuations through batteries.

In combination with new technologies and other developments such as hull modification, the LNG fuel use will cut down sulfur oxide (SOx) emissions by 99%, nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by 96%, and CO₂ emissions by nearly 40% compared with vessels running on heavy fuel oil.

NYK revealed that it is planning to substitute existing vessels with approximately 40 new LNG-fuelled PCTCs over the next ten years to accomplish its environment management target.

Based on the target, NYK is aiming to reduce CO₂ emissions by half per tonne-kilometre of transport by 2050.

Furthermore, the company is planning to shift to zero-emission vessels using low-emission marine fuels such as ammonia and hydrogen from the mid-2030s.

Last week, NYK announced that it placed an order for its first two liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) dual-fuelled very large gas carriers (VLGCs) at Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI).

Both vessels are scheduled for delivery in 2022 and will be built at the KHI Sakaide Works shipyard.