Prompted by the upcoming environmental regulations set to enter into force in 2020, Japanese car manufacturer Toyota Motor Corporation is said to be turning to LNG-powered ships to transport its cars across the globe.
According to a report from Japanese daily Nikkei, the company is backing an investment in up to 20 LNG-powered car carriers with the capacity to carry 7,000 vehicles each. The order, priced at USD 1.83 billion, would be split between three car carrier owners entrusted with shipping Toyota’s cars; NYK Line, K Line and Toyota’s Toyofuji Shipping, the daily reported.
A specific timeline for the orders was not given, as the move is believed to be still in its initial stage.
However, once the ships are delivered, they are expected to replace existing vessels on North American routes.
Japanese yards such as Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Imabari and Japan Marine United have been identified as potential builders of the new ships, Asiasis reported.
Neither Toyota Motor nor Toyofuji Shipping was available for comment at the moment of publishing of this article.
The plans have emerged weeks after a naming and launching ceremony for Toyofuji Shipping’s new 3,000-vehicle car carrier vessel Trans Harmony. The ship will be sailing on the company’s Asia routes, once delivered in January next year.
Data from VesselsValue shows that the company also has one more newbuilding on order at compatriot Naikai Setoda Shipbuilding also set for delivery by the end of this year.
Based on Toyofuji’s website info, the company has 17 car carriers in its fleet, their age ranging from 1986 to 2011.
World Maritime News Staff