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Innovative LNG carrier will carry LNG from US to Japan

A new generation 180,000-m3 LNG carrier under construction for a joint venture between Japan’s JERA and NYK Line was christened at Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co.

With delivery expected in June, Bushu Maru will go into operation for Trans Pacific Shipping 6 Limited between Freeport LNG and Japan. It is the second LNG carrier for JERA built by Mitsubishi, which delivered Nohshu Maru in February for the US LNG trade.

A ceremony was held at the Koyagi Plant of the Nagasaki Shipyard & Machinery Works at which JERA president Satoshi Onoda christened the ship.

JERA was established in 2015 as an equal-share joint venture between TEPCO Fuel & Power, a group company of Tokyo Electric Power Company, and Chubu Electric Power Company. Its business operations include constructing and refurbishing thermal power plants in Japan, as well as energy infrastructure projects and power generation overseas.

A Sayaringo STaGE design, Bushu Maru incorporates improvements in both LNG carrying capacity and fuel performance due to adopting a more efficient hull structure and an innovative hybrid propulsion system, says Mitsubishi. The Sayaringo STaGE uses Moss apple-shaped tanks for greater LNG carrying capacity without increasing the ship’s width, allowing it to pass through the expanded Panama Canal. 

Bushu Maru has an overall length of 297.5 m, width of 48.94 m, and depth of 27 m, with a draft of 11.5 m and capacity of 180,000 m3.

For improved fuel efficiency, it has a STaGE (Steam Turbine and Gas Engines) hybrid propulsion system, combining a steam turbine and gas-fired engines. Effective utilisation of waste heat from the engines for the steam turbine provides improvements in power plant efficiency and operations at both low and high speeds.

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