NYK joins the Japanese rush to develop large liquefied CO₂ carriers

Mitsubishi Shipbuilding and Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) have agreed to jointly develop a large-scale liquefied CO₂ carrier following in the footsteps of compatriots Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line).

“Carbon dioxide capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) is attracting attention worldwide as an effective means to achieve a carbon neutral world. LCO₂ carriers will play a vital role in that value chain by transporting liquified CO₂ to storage sites and facilities for utilization, and demand for these vessels is expected to increase in the future,” NYK stated in a release today.

MOL is also working with Mitsubishi Shipbuilding to develop a 50,000 cu m LCO₂ carrier, roughly 12 times larger than the biggest such ships in existence today.

MOL and K Line are also part of another team setting out to design larger liquefied CO2 carriers. Nippon Steel and Itochu Corporation are among the partners in this project.

The Japanese government has been backing the nation’s development of carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS), carbon dioxide capture and utilisation (CCU) and carbon recycling over the past two years, something that will soon require the need for CO₂ transport due to the great distances between CO₂ emission sources and storage areas.

The many nascent seaborne trades such as liquefied CO₂ or hydrogen have given ailing Japanese shipyards a shot in the arm. Japanese shipbuilders were the pioneers for much of the liquefied gas carrier design breakthroughs of the 1970s and 1980s, something they aim to replicate as the world transitions to new energy forms.

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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