For Trial Use on a MOL Group LNG fueled Vessel
Tokyo - February 22, 2023
Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd.
Air Water Inc.
This joint study will be conducted as part of an LBM technology research and development program approved by Japan's Ministry of the Environment (Note 2) and promoted by Air Water. LBM is produced from cattle manure in the Tokachi region of Hokkaido by Air Water. The two companies will confirm that LBM can be transported, supplied, and used without problems using existing shore and onboard equipment. The goal is to use LBM on the MOL Group's coastal LNG fueled vessel in the first half of FY2023. This will be the first use of LBM as marine fuel in Japan.
Cattle manure-derived LBM will be used as marine fuel. Image by MOL.
Process of LBM production, supply chain for use on LNG fueled vessels. Image by MOL.
LNG fuel is expected to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by about 25% compared to conventional fuel oil, but further reduction of CO2 emissions can be expected through the partial use of LBM, a carbon-neutral energy source. In addition, because the main component of both LBM and LNG is methane, the current LNG supply chains can be used, so LBM can be an effective solution to achieve low-carbon and decarbonized ship operations.
Air Water is committed to creating decarbonization solutions and sustainable, locally circulating energy supply models. In October 2022, the company started operation of the first plant in Japan to produce LBM, an alternative fuel to LNG that effectively uses unused biogas produced from cattle manure. It is also working on supplying LBM to food factories and LNG fueled trucks.
In the future, MOL and Air Water will contribute to the development of low-carbon and decarbonized ocean transport by leveraging each other's knowledge and experiences in the use of LBM as marine fuel.
(Note 1) LBM is made by liquefying bio-methane at about -160oC generated from dairy-owned biogas plants, separating and refining its main component, methane. Methane can be compressed to 1/600th of its volume by liquefying it, so this enables the mass transportation of methane. It is also a carbon-neutral domestic energy source because it is made from cattle manure.
(Note 2) Low carbon technology research and development program "Demonstration project for liquefied bio-methane local supply chain model using unused biogas" https://www.awi.co.jp/en/news/release/release-69844124773317377327.html
Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. press release