According to NYK, the ship is the first large LNG-fuelled vessel to be built at a domestic shipyard in Japan and it is scheduled to be completed around October 2020.
NYK said that it will be gradually updating all its car-carrying fleet with next-generation environmentally-friendly vessels.
The Sakura Leader, which will be able to carry around 7,000 vehicles, will be providing transportation services for Toyota Motor Corporation.
According to NYK, the ship is expected to improve energy efficiency (CO2 emissions per unit of transport) by approximately 40% through LNG fuel conversion and ship type improvement, and it is expected to reduce emissions of sulphur oxides (SOx) by about 99% and nitrogen oxides (NOx) by about 86% compared to conventional heavy oil-burning engines.
The ship has been adopted by Japan’s Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism as a ‘Model Project for Measures to Reduce CO2 Emissions from Ships by Utilizing Alternative Fuels.’
NYK added that it plans to complete a second LNG-fuelled vehicle-only carrier in 2022, and the world’s first LNG-fuelled large coal-only carrier in 2023.