K Line working with Nokia to bridge shipping’s 10-year sat comms gap

Shipping giant Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line) has a barrage of news out today including details of Japan’s first climate transition financing as well as teaming with Nokia to help bridge what it describes as shipping’s 10-year gap with shoreside sat comms.

K Line’s brand new LNG-fuelled car carrier, Century Highway Green, was delivered today by Imabari Shipbuilding. The ship features a 4G/LTE field area network (FAN) installed by Nokia giving the ship the same internet speeds at berth that people have ashore.

“Satellite communication normally used between ship and shore is said to be 10 years behind of land communication and this is one of the causes of delay for ships digitalization,” K Line stated in one of many releases today linked to the launch of its next generation car carrier.

The Nokia industrial communication solution comprises the Nokia 7705 SAR-Hm, an industrial LTE router installed on ships, and the Nokia 7705 SAR-8, a headend router in the office onshore. This solution enables K Line to closely monitor loading and unloading in real time and significantly reduce time needed for large file exchange during port calls, improving operational efficiency.

The new FAN environment delivers high-speed, secure, encrypted wireless communications between ship and shore enabling the application of a range of new efficient digital services such as CCTV and and remote visual inspection of machinery.

Hiroshi Uchida, head of the AI digitalization strategy group at K Line, said: “Working with Nokia, we plan to accelerate the development and utilisation of advanced digital technologies that enable safer, world-class shipping services. With the Nokia 4G/LTE network, we will be able to communicate more effectively during berthing, using the same sophisticated technology as available on land. This creates the capability to deliver improved operational performance, skills transfer and safety management.”

In addition to living quarters, wifi has been installed on the cargo deck and in the engine room and the LNG fuel-related equipment compartment.

The red and white Century Highway Green, the first LNG-fuelled PCTC in the K Line fleet, delivered to much fanfare from Imabari today, was funded by a Y5.9bn ($54m) climate transition loan from Mizuho Bank and Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, Japan’s very first climate transition financing.

The loan was evaluated by the Japan Credit Rating Agency in line with the Climate Transition Finance Handbook published by the International Capital Markets Association (ICMA).

“The concept of Climate Transition Finance is to accelerate the efficient flow of financing to the companies, which address climate change risk as material issues for its core business activities and to do non Business As Usual Efforts in order to achieve its GHG emission reduction target to contribute to the global goals for decarbonization,” K Line explained in a release.

Pressed by their automotive clients, Japan’s big shipping lines tend to emphasise their environmental design breakthroughs on next generation car carrier deliveries and today was no different with K Line issuing not one, but five releases on the launch.

K Line claims the 200 m long LNG-fuelled Century Highway Green car carrier, capable of carrying 7,080 units, reduces CO2 emissions by 25 to 30%, SOx by almost 100% and NOx by between 80 to 90%, aided by the use of exhaust gas recirculation (EGR).

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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