This marks MOL's first ownership of a tugboat powered by LNG-fueled engines - produced by Yanmar Co., Ltd. and it will be the first LNG-fueled tugboat in Japan conforming to the IGF code. It is also Japan's first LNG-fueled tugboat with the LNG fuel tank mounted on the exposed deck at the stern of the ship. This enhances convenience in bunkering, maintenance, and inspection.
The ship will be operated by Nihon Tug-Boat Co., Ltd. and it will be deployed in Osaka Bay in April 2019. LNG will be supplied by Osaka Gas Co., Ltd. using a truck-to-ship system.
MOL and Osaka Gas will also establish an LNG fuel supply system for vessels, which will be the first in Osaka Bay and cooperate in the measures of LNG fuel supply development project conducted by Port and Harbor Bureau of Osaka Prefectural Government at the Sakai-senboku Port. MOL will move ahead with research on practical use of an LNG fuel supply system with a detachable, portable LNG fuel tank, by adapting this design to the tugboat.
The company has conducted various researches related to LNG, such as a joint study of an LNG-fueled Capesize bulker, an Approval In Principle (AIP) for the future design of a series of LNG-powered 20,000 TEU-class containerships, and an AIP for the design of an LNG-powered coal carrier.