Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK) Line has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Itochu Enex, Kyushu Electric Power Company, and Saibu Gas, to collaborate on the delivery of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a marine fuel for vessels in western Japan.

Under the partnership, the companies will jointly study the commercialisation of an LNG bunkering business in the Setouchi and Kyushu areas of western Japan.

The partners will also be involved in marketing activities, including to Kyushu Electric Power Company for LNG-powered coal carriers, which are slated for delivery in 2023.

Furthermore, the companies will discuss prospects in connection with the construction and owning of LNG vessels needed for ship-to-ship supply.

This initiative will support the International Maritime Organization (IMO) aim to minimise greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from shipping by at least 50% by 2050, compared with 2008 levels, and GHG emissions from vessels to zero.

As opposed to heavy fuel oil, LNG as a marine fuel can cut down sulfur oxide (SOx) emissions and particulate matter (PM) by almost 100%, nitrogen oxides (NOx) by around 80%, and carbon by nearly 30%.

Earlier this month, oil and gas firm bp and NYK Line signed an MoU to jointly work together on future fuels and transportation solutions to facilitate decarbonisation.

The firms will cooperate and identify opportunities to help the shipping industry transition from current marine fuels to green fuels, including LNG, biofuels, and methanol.

They will also work together on the development of future fuels, such as ammonia and hydrogen.

Through such collaborations, NYK Line is looking for opportunities to lead decarbonisation efforts in the maritime industry.