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NYK joins GCMD as first Japan-headquartered partner to accelerate shipping’s decarbonisation

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4 July 2023

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The Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation (GCMD) and Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK) announced today the signing of a five-year Strategic Partnership agreement. This significant partnership further boosts the centre’s capacity and efforts to conduct pilots and trials of low-carbon solutions to provide clear and specific pathways to decarbonisation of the global shipping industry.


Japan is one of the top three shipowning countries in the world, and Japanese merchant vessels account for around 11% of world tonnage. Numbers from Clarksons Green Transition Team further indicate that Japan leads other nations in alternative-fuel-ready vessel orders, constituting about 10% of the global equivalent.


As the largest shipowner in Japan, NYK is a forward-leaning global shipping company that carries a progressive outlook on decarbonisation and undertakes a whole of value chain approach, bringing together the regulatory authorities in Japan as well as key stakeholders in the private sector to work collaboratively to decarbonise shipping.


NYK is the first shipping company in Japan to independently obtain an approval-in-principle (AiP) for an ammonia bunkering vessel (ABV) from ClassNK and is on track to retrofit Sakigake, an LNG-fuelled tugboat, with an ammonia-fuelled engine. The resulting ammonia-fuelled tugboat (A-Tug) is expected to commence operation in 2024. Additionally, NYK is making efforts with partner companies to deliver an oceangoing ammonia-fueled ammonia gas carrier (AFAGC) by 2026. NYK was therefore a natural partner in the GCMD-commissioned ammonia bunkering pilot safety study that was completed in April. As one of 22 Study Partners, NYK 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. With this data and data from the four other supply chains, 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.

Professor Lynn Loo, CEO of the Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation, said: “We are proud to have NYK, a prominent Japanese shipping line, join us as a Strategic Partner, given its strong commitment to decarbonisation and Japan’s standing as a major maritime nation. This Strategic Partnership agreement with NYK formalises and strengthens our existing relations in working on low-carbon solutions for international shipping. We look forward to levelling up the engagement with NYK to further accelerate collective efforts towards shipping’s decarbonisation.”


“We are honored to be GCMD’s strategic partner, and I am very confident that this partnership will greatly empower our efforts to reduce GHG emissions from the maritime sector,” said Takaya Soga, President and CEO of NYK. “Through the partnership, I am looking forward to cooperating with GCMD and all its partners to realize the widespread social implementation of various decarbonisation solutions in our industry.”


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