Japan’s NYK Joins GCMD to Accelerate Shipping’s Decarbonisation

The Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation (GCMD) and Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK) have announced the signing of a five-year strategic partnership agreement.

GCMD aims to help the industry eliminate GHG emissions by shaping standards for future fuels, piloting low-carbon solutions in an end-to-end manner under real-world operations conditions, financing first-of-a-kind projects, and fostering collaboration across sectors.

This latest 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 ship-owning countries in the world, and Japanese merchant vessels account for around 11% of world tonnage. Numbers from industry sources 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 the first shipping company in the country 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.

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, Singapore-based 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.

“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 realise the widespread social implementation of various decarbonisation solutions in our industry.”