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K Line unveils fleet expansion move with methanol-ready bulk carriers

January 19 ------ Japanese shipping company Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line) has embarked on an interesting fleet expansion move in the bulk shipping sector. Namely, K Line has inked a contract with compatriot shipbuilder Nihon Shipyard, a joint venture between Japan Marine United Corporation (JMU) and Imabari Shipbuilding, for the construction of three methanol-ready post-Panamax bulkers. 


The 92,000 vessels have been developed by Nihon as next-generation, environmentally friendly ships. The 92-type bulkers, also known as K Line’s “Corona-series,” are wide-beam, shallow-draft coal carriers optimally designed for the transportation of coal to coal-fired power plants in Japan. 


K Line said that the new ships will feature 40% improvement in CO2 emissions efficiency based on NSY’s optimal ship development, including the newest main engine and the adoption of energy-saving accessories. “Moreover, the methanol-ready ship concept which assumes a shift toward methanol, a marine fuel with a low environmental footprint, will be adopted,” the company noted. 


In line with its long-term environmental guideline, the K Line Environmental Vision 2050, the company has committed to a 50% improvement in CO2 emissions efficiency and achieving net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050. To meet these goals, the Japanese shipping major is adopting new highly eco-friendly fuels and incorporating wind power propulsion systems. 


K Line is also working with partners on the development of an ammonia-powered 200,000 dwt bulker. The basic design won AiP in 2022, and K Line is working with ITOCHU Corporation, Nihon Shipyard, Mitsui E&S Machinery Co., and NS United Kaiun Kaisha to take delivery of the Newcastlemax bulker and begin its social implementation in 2026. 


Nihon has also been entrusted with the construction of eight Evergreen’s methanol-powered container ships as part of its $5.04 billion investment in 24 ships. In addition, the shipyard is working with Mitsui & Co. and Mitsubishi Corporation on a collaborative study for ocean-going liquified CO2 (LCO2) carriers. 



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