This past June, a group of seven companies announced the completion of a successful trial using liquefied biomethane (LBM) as marine fuel on the domestic LNG fueled vessel Ise Mirai in Ise Bay. This marks Japan’s first use of carbon-neutral LBM derived from biomass.
Some involved in the project were Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd.,, Air Water Inc, Techno Chubu Company, Ltd., Kyoudou Kaiun Co., Ltd., MOL Coastal Shipping, Ltd., Cenergy Co., LTD, and IHI Power Systems Co., Ltd.
The trial was conducted based on a memorandum of understanding signed between MOL and Air Water in February 2023, with the cooperation of other parties involved.
The LBM used in the trial was provided by Air Water, and produced from cattle manure in the Tokachi region of Hokkaido as part of a technology development and demonstration project adopted by Japan’s Ministry of the Environment.
The parties involved unanimously confirmed the following through ocean transport of JERA’s cargo:
- LBM can be transported through the existing domestic LNG supply chain.
- Truck-to-ship bunkering of LBM can be completed using existing LNG tank trucks.
- LBM can be used by an existing vessel as marine fuel.
Since the main component of both LBM and LNG is methane, LBM can be used in the existing LNG supply chains, proving to be an effective solution to achieve low-carbon and decarbonized ship operations.
MOL and Air Water will continually contribute to the development of low-carbon and decarbonized ocean transport by leveraging each other’s knowledge and experience in the use of LBM as marine fuel.