Idemitsu Tanker Co, IINO Lines, Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK), and Nihon Shipyard have established a consortium to conduct joint research and development of a design concept for a VLCC vessel of Malaccamax dimensions.
The joint project will examine in particular the machinery, and environmental equipment with the aim of reducing GHG emissions for the largest vessel type capable of passing through the Strait of Malacca, a major shipping route of crude oil between Japan and the Middle East.
With decarbonisation having become a significant global issue, a stable supply of crude oil still remains essential to the energy needs of Japan, which relies on the Middle East for more than 90% of the nation’s crude oil imports. VLCCs transporting crude oil are thus vital to Japan’s economy. To minimise GHG emissions generated during transportation, shipping companies are considering switching from conventional fuels to next-generation fuels and installing environmentally friendly equipment, such as carbon capture and storage (CCS)systems among other measures. To address these issues, Idemitsu Tanker Co initiated the formation of the consortium by the four companies to study optimal solutions beyond the boundaries of each company.
Aiming to reduce GHG emissions by 40% or more compared to previous levels, the consortium will combine experience in the four companies’ respective fields to verify and select the effectiveness of next-generation fuels and environmentally friendly equipment, as well as create design concepts, with a view to ultimately building and operating VLCCs.
Image: Next Generation Eco-Friendly VLCC (source: NYK)