JUNE 9, 2016—Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Tourism (MLIT) is launching a feasibility study for LNG bunkering in the Port of Yokohama.
Japan is the world’s largest LNG importing country and major Japanese ports already have several LNG storage tanks. However this is Japan's first LNG bunkering facility development project.
The port of Yokohama is designated as an International Container Hub by MLIT along with the ports of Kobe, Osaka, Tokyo and Kawasaki.
In March 2016, MLIT, Yokohama City Office and Kawasaki City Office established YKIP – Yokohama Kawasaki International Port Corporation—a new government owned port operating company headed by Mr. Masamichi Morooka, ex-chairman of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) to strengthen the operational capability of these ports.
At a G7 Energy Ministers Meeting held in conjunction with last month's G7 summit, the Japanese Government announced a Strategy for LNG Market Development that includes the promotion of LNG bunkering. In response. MLIT established a new steering committee for LNG bunkering in the port of Yokohama that will formulate a facility development plan by the end of this year.
In addition to MLIT, members of the Steering Committee include Tokyo Gas Co., NYK Line, Yokohama Kawasaki International Port Co., the City of Yokohama, Agency for Natural Resources and Energy and the Japanese Coast Guard.
Last year, NYK Line introduced a LNG fueled tug boat in the Port of Yokohama with Toyko Gas—one of Japan's major gas companies—supplying the LNG to the tug boat from an LNG truck.