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NEDO selects methane slip reduction project for next-generation ship development

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LNG Industry,

Hitachi Zosen Corp., Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd (MOL) and Yanmar Power Technology Co., Ltd (YPT) have proposed the ‘Development of methane slip reduction technology from LNG fuelled vessels by improving catalysts and engines’ (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Project’) with Hitachi Zosen as the managing company in the ‘Development of next-generation vessels’ project publicly solicited by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organisation (NEDO) under the Green Innovation Fund. The proposal was adopted.

In recent years, environmental awareness, including responses to climate change, has been increasing worldwide. Against this backdrop, the shipping industry is also working on various technological and business developments to realise a low-carbon society. One of these efforts is the introduction in various parts of the world of LNG-fuelled ships, which have a low environmental impact. LNG fuel has the effect of reducing CO2 emissions, but engines using LNG can be prone to the problem of methane slip, where unburned fuel is expelled in the exhaust. Reducing methane slip is a press-ing issue in engine design.

In this project, the partners aim to achieve a methane slip reduction rate of more than 70% for LNG-fuelled vessels over a six-year period from 2021 to 2026. The reduction will be achieved by combining methane oxidation catalysts and engine improvements thereby further reducing the environmental impact of LNG-fuelled vessels. YPT will also commission Namura Shipbuilding Co., Ltd, together with Hitachi Zosen and MOL, to establish the technology to install the system developed in this research on actual ships.

The system will be installed in a coal carrier built at the Namura Shipbuilding and operated by MOL for demonstration of the methane slip reduction technology. The partners will work to establish the technology as soon as possible with a view to utilising carbon-recycled methane in future applications, reducing greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050 towards realising a carbon-neutral society.

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