Japan’s IHI said that its wholly owned shipbuilding subsidiary, IHI Marine United, has developed low-emission large container ship that can run on liquefied natural gas.
According to IHI, the newly developed container ship produces almost no sulfur oxide and emits about 80 percent less nitrogen oxide than a conventional container ship powered by heavy oil. The newly developed container ship also emits 20 percent to 25 percent less carbon dioxide than a conventional heavy oil-powered container ship, IHI said.
IHIMU used proprietary technology to keep LNG tanks small as a way of maximizing container transport capacity, the Tokyo-based company said.
Shipbuilders have been designing environmentally friendly vessels in preparation for the planned introduction of international emissions regulations for ships in 2016.
The Nikkei, Japan’s biggest business daily, reported that Japan’s Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha. are also developing LNG vessels. But LNG-powered ships suffer the drawback of higher initial costs than oil-powered vessels, the paper said.
Japan is one of the world’s top shipbuilding nations along with South Korea and China. But Japanese shipbuilders are facing an uphill battle in increasingly tough competition from their South Korean and Chinese rivals amid a sharp rise in the value of their nation’s currency — the yen — and counting on their advanced environmental technologies for survival.
In July, Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding announced separately that they developed fuel-efficient LNG carriers.
MHI and MES say their newly developed LNG carriers can improve fuel efficiency by about 25 percent and 30 percent, respectively, compared with conventional LNG vessels.
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