May 22, 2023 | Ship design & naval architecture news

Mitsubishi Shipbuilding, part of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) Group and Nihon Shipyard, a Tokyo-based joint venture for ship design and sales between Imabari Shipbuilding and Japan Marine United Corporation have started a joint study for the development of an ocean-going liquified CO2 (LCO2) carrier.

Nihon Shipyard is pursuing this project with the aim of completing construction of the vessel from 2027 onwards. According to the partnership, demand for LCO2 carriers is expected to grow in the future as a means to transport large volumes of CO2 safely for CCS (Carbon dioxide Capture and Storage) projects, in which captured CO2 is stored underground in stable facilities. Following the lead of the EU region, it is expected that CCS projects in Asia will be accelerated by the promotion of national governments, it will be essential to establish a shipbuilding framework in Japan to meet the demand for LCO2 carriers.

This project will take advantage of the knowledge and gas handling technology that Mitsubishi Shipbuilding has acquired in designing and constructing liquified LNG and LPG carriers, as well as its shipbuilding experience for various type of vessels, as well as technology capabilities that Nihon Shipyard has accumulated over the years. These strengths, it is felt, can be mutually supplemented.

MHI Group is pursuing strategic measures to strengthen its business for the energy transition. For its role in this initiative, in addition to conventional shipbuilding centred on manufacturing, Mitsubishi Shipbuilding aims to utilise its marine engineering technologies rooted in shipbuilding to contribute to the development of the maritime industry in Japan and worldwide. This project is a part of that effort. Through collaboration with multiple Japanese shipping companies and domestic/overseas energy companies, along with the construction of demonstration ship for transport of LCO2, Mitsubishi Shipbuilding is actively pursuing the development of LCO2 carriers and commercialisation of LCO2 shipping.

Nihon Shipyard, in anticipation of future regulations restricting CO2 emissions, is proactively working toward the commercialisation of LNG- and ammonia-fuelled ships. As its next initiative, the company is considering the potential for LCO2 carriers, aiming to further solidify its position in the industry. Mitsubishi Shipbuilding and Nihon Shipyard expect to provide the world with the LCO2 carriers necessary to establish a CCS value chain, and contribute to the realisation of a carbon neutral world.

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