The Japanese company Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK) partners with Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation (GCMD) in a five-year strategic partnership deal, which further boosts the centre’s efforts to conduct pilots and trials of low-carbon solutions for the decarbonisation of the global shipping industry.

The partners through this deal are cooperating with the implementation of various decarbonisation solutions.

Japan is one of the top three shipowning countries in the world, and Japanese merchant vessels account for around 11% of world tonnage.

Clarksons green transition team figures indicate that Japan leads other nations in alternative-fuel-ready vessel orders, constituting about 10% of the global equivalent.

The Japanese shipowner NYK has obtained an approval-in-principle (AiP) for an ammonia bunkering vessel from ClassNK and is on track to retrofit Sakigake, an LNG-fuelled tugboat, with an ammonia-fuelled engine. The resulting ammonia-fuelled tugboat is expected to commence operation in 2024.

Additionally, NYK is making efforts with partner companies to deliver an oceangoing ammonia-fueled ammonia gas carrier by 2026.

“NYK was a natural partner in the GCMD-commissioned ammonia bunkering pilot safety study that was completed in April,” the shipowner says, adding that NYK as one of the 22 study partners contributed significantly to the safety study by sharing the learnings from its experience with ammonia.

For GCMD’s pilot on developing an assurance framework for drop-in biofuels, NYK trialled VLSFO (B24) on board Lycaste Peace in February 2023, contributing to the successful completion of the second of five supply chains of the full pilot.

Based on this data and on the data from the four other supply chains, the centre GCMD is developing a “robust framework for quality and quantity assurance of drop-in biofuels and GHG accounting.”

GCMD is also conducting a green premium cost-benefit analysis of deploying biofuels with NYK and other partners involved in the pilot.

Takaya Soga, President and CEO of NYK said “I am very confident that this partnership will greatly empower our efforts to reduce GHG emissions from the maritime sector.”