Japan’s NYK to build biomass-fuelled biomass carrier

  • Market: Biomass
  • 14/05/24

Japanese shipping company Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK Line) and its partners plan to explore developing what it described as the world's first biomass-fuelled biomass carrier.

NYK Line, its subsidiary NYK Bulk and Projects Carriers, Japanese firm Tsuneishi Shipbuilding and UK biomass supplier Drax signed an initial agreement on 13 May to jointly study developing a biomass-fuelled biomass carrier, with an aim to build it by the end of 2029. The vessel will be equipped with a pyrolysis gasifier system, burning wood pellets from storage to generate gas for use in a gas-engine power generator. The electricity will be used to move the ship.

NYK Line expects the vessel to be a Handysize bulker with 20,000-45,000t of cargo capacity, but is unsure of the exact capacity and whether the vessel will be expanded. The companies aim to use wood pellets for now, but may examine if other type of wooden biomass can be consumed in the future.

NYK Line expects to curb greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 22pc, compared to conventional marine fuels. It has been a challenge for Handysize bulkers to switch to alternative marine fuels because of their fuel tanks' limited size, so the companies are examining the use of biomass to reduce GHG emission on these ships.

Japanese shipping firms have tried to shift away from conventional marine fuels to achieve decarbonisation, by introducing LNG, LPG, ammonia, batteries and methanol. But a biomass-fuelled ship is unprecedented, said NYK Line. Biomass-fired power generation have been commercialised on land, but companies need further technological development to implement it on vessels.


Sharelinkedin-sharetwitter-sharefacebook-shareemail-share

Related news posts

Argus illuminates the markets by putting a lens on the areas that matter most to you. The market news and commentary we publish reveals vital insights that enable you to make stronger, well-informed decisions. Explore a selection of news stories related to this one.

News
06/06/24

Japan’s Tokyo Gas restarts earthquake-hit biomass unit

Japan’s Tokyo Gas restarts earthquake-hit biomass unit

Tokyo, 6 June (Argus) — Japanese utility Tokyo Gas resumed commercial operations at its 51.5MW Fushiki Manyofuto biomass power plant from mid-May following earthquake-related disruptions in January. The power plant is located in Toyama prefecture of the Hokuriku region, which was hit by a 7.6 magnitude earthquake on 1 January . The unit was already shut because of a technical issue prior to the earthquake, with it then forced to extend its closure with damage from earthquake-related liquefaction. The company has made necessary repairs to restart the plant, such as fixing distorted piping. It began trial runs on 14 May, then resumed commercial operation on 16 May. Key generation infrastructure, including its boiler and turbine, were not seriously damaged by the earthquake. Fushiki Manyofuto came on line in July 2022, burning around 200,000 t/yr of wood pellets imported from Canada and southeast Asia. It currently is not consuming palm kernel shells. Tokyo Gas also operates the 75MW Ichihara Yawatafuto biomass power plant in Chiba prefecture , which plans to burn 270,000 t/yr of wood pellets. Its debut was scheduled for January this year but this was postponed and no new start-up date has been set. By Takeshi Maeda Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Find out more
News

European wood chip imports up in 2023


28/05/24
News
28/05/24

European wood chip imports up in 2023

London, 28 May (Argus) — European hardwood wood chip imports increased by 19pc in 2023 compared to the 2019-21 average, owing largely to an increase in Nordic imports. Overall European imports of hardwood chips rose to 4.4mn t in 2023, customs data for products under the 440122 code for HS classification — which exclude coniferous (or softwood) chips — show (see chart). Wood chips under this category are thought to be mainly delivered to the bioenergy sector, although deliveries to other competing sectors may also be included. Sweden and Denmark significantly increased imports in 2023 compared with 2019-21 averages, largely owing to tightening local supply, as harvesting restrictions in the Nordics limited the volume of raw material available. In addition, Swedish suppliers of wood waste only fulfilled around 30pc of their term contracts with end users, which also supported the latter's demand and consumption of wood chips throughout last year. Swedish forest companies with lands in neighbouring countries favoured higher imports from these regions, such as Latvia and Estonia, to keep costs down. Stronger demand for bioenergy chips combined with weaker demand by competing sectors — such as pulp and paper, cardboard and construction — resulted in the price for bioenergy chips unusually rising to a premium to higher quality wood chips, such as pulp wood chips. Denmark increased imports from Brazil in 2023, likely as utilities with term contracts with Brazilian suppliers ramped up receipts following the sanctions on Russian supply. The rising Brazilian imports to Denmark, and Europe overall, is expected to be sustained throughout 2024, as end users continue to seek overseas supply to diversify sourcing from outside of Europe. Denmark also imported more from Germany, the UK and Latvia, customs data show. Swedish and Danish imports more than offset a drop in imports by other key importing regions. Imports by Poland, which was the third largest European importer in 2019, saw a sharp drop by 156,000t to 28,000t in 2023. This was largely owing to slower receipts from Ukraine and Belarus following the start of the war in Ukraine in 2022, which saw Poland rely more heavily on local supply. Issues with transport logistics also affected imports from Lithuania, and overall trade flows between the Baltic Sea basin and central Europe. Finland's imports also dropped in 2023 compared with the 2019-21 average, mainly due to a sharp drop in Russian receipts. Most of the wood chips imported by Finland before 2022 were thought to go to other competing sectors than bioenergy. But since the start-up of the Naistenlahti 3 combined heat and power (CHP) woodchip-fired power plant in 2023, Finnish demand for imported bioenergy chips has likely increased. Finland also relied more heavily on local supply in 2023, as well as importing more from Latvia and Estonia, customs data show. Going forward, consumption in the Baltic Sea basin is expected to remain robust by bioenergy and other sectors, supported by new capacity that has come on line in recent years or is expected to start up in the near future. By Hannah Adler Key European hardwood chip importers 000,000t Danish imports 000t Swedish imports 000t Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

News

Japan's Erex to develop biomass projects in Cambodia


27/05/24
News
27/05/24

Japan's Erex to develop biomass projects in Cambodia

Tokyo, 27 May (Argus) — Japanese renewable power producer Erex is planning to launch biomass generation projects in Cambodia, aiming to build up to five 50MW plants by 2030. Erex has been running a feasibility study in Cambodia since last November and will complete it by this summer. The company signed an initial agreement with Cambodia's Ministry of Mines and Energy to co-operate in energy development, including biomass fuel and generation, in December 2023. This includes power plants and wood pellet factories. Those power plants will burn domestically produced biomass fuels including wood residue and chips, but the firm did not disclose the volumes involved and the timelines. The Cambodian government expects the projects to raise the country's energy self-sufficiency. Erex is also accelerating its biomass business in Vietnam. The company started building a 20MW power plant in Hau Giang province in September 2022, which is expected to be completed by the end of this year. The company is planning 18 more biomass power stations in the country, including the 50MW Yen Bai plant, for which the government issuedan investment registration certificate this month. The company invested in wood pellet production plants in Vietnam, with the output mainly for exports to countries including Japan. Erex is also promoting biomass use in the country by helping domestic utilities convert their coal-fired power plants into biomass-fired or co-fired units using wood residue and chips. Profits from projects in Vietnam and Cambodia are expected to grow rapidly and account for at least half of its whole profits by the end of 2020s, the company said. By Takeshi Maeda Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

News

Indonesian coal producer Indika eyes biomass market


27/05/24
News
27/05/24

Indonesian coal producer Indika eyes biomass market

Singapore, 27 May (Argus) — Indonesian coal producer Indika Energy is venturing into biomass, as it diversifies into more environmentally-friendly businesses and reduces its reliance on conventional fuel revenues. Indika, which produced 30.1mn t of coal in 2023 through its subsidiary Kideco, last year completed construction of a wood pellet factory in Paser, east Kalimantan, the company said in its 2023 sustainability report. The biomass business is part of its subsidiary Indika Nature that is preparing its first batch of production. It is aiming to produce 150,000 t/yr wood pellets by 2025. These will have an average calorific value of 4,200-4,750 kcal/kg that is suitable for biomass-based power plants or for co-firing in a thermal power plant. It is planning to export the pellets to Japan. [Japan imported 531,500t of wood pellets in March](https://direct.argusmedia.com/newsandanalysis/article/2562604), up by 47pc from a year earlier, according to preliminary data released by the country's finance ministry on 26 April. This was also higher by 9pc from February. Imports from Indonesia rise to 59,353t in March, more than a fivefold increase from 10,796t a year earlier. This exceeded the previous record high of 35,516t in January. Indika will become the first biomass company in Indonesia with a comprehensive value chain, it added. Indika Nature cultivates a commercial forest in east Kalimantan that provides biomass for carbon-neutral energy generation. It is aiming to cultivate this year 7,500 hectares of calliandra, a woody plant that is a source of biomass. The group's commodity trading arm also started trading of palm kernel shells, a by-product of palm oil production that is used as a fuel in biomass power plants. Its customers included trading firms in Indonesia, Japan and Portugal. Indika Energy has set a target for 50pc of its revenues to come from its non-coal business by 2025, as a part of its long-term goal to entirely transition away from coal and expand its presence in renewables and the non-energy space. It has been reducing its presence in coal-related businesses, while becoming more involved in electric mobility, gold mining and digital technologies. It decided to sell a 100pc stake last year in its Mutu coal mining unit to domestic firm Petrindo Jaya Kreasi. Indika earned almost 87pc of its $3.02bn revenues in 2023 from coal compared with nearly 89pc in 2022. By Ajay Modi Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

News

Torrefied, carbonised biomass capacity to rise: IBTC


23/05/24
News
23/05/24

Torrefied, carbonised biomass capacity to rise: IBTC

London, 23 May (Argus) — The total production capacity of torrefied and carbonised biomass is expected to reach 1.2mn t/yr by the end of 2026, from 226,000 t/yr currently in operation, according to data collected by the International Biomass Torrefaction and Carbonisation Council (IBTC) from its members. Of this, nearly 1.1mn t/yr of capacity will be for an end product with 60pc carbon content or less, from 223,000 t/yr currently. And 30,000 t/yr is expected to be capacity to produce carbonised biomass with carbon content of 75pc or higher, from 3,000 t/yr currently in operation, IBTC data show. "After 15 dry years, there is capacity up and running and more to come," IBTC president Michael Wild told delegates at the Argus Biomass Conference in London last month. Further out, around 9mn t/yr of capacity is in the pipeline through to the end of 2030, with the potential as high as 18mn t/yr, according to IBTC. Of this, 7.1mn t/yr would be in the pipeline for biomass with carbon content of 60pc or less with the potential as high as 12mn t/yr. The power generation sector, including bio-intermediaries such as for gasification, methanol and sustainable aviation fuel-producing sectors, and the reductant material sector, primarily for carbonised biomass' use in steelmaking , are the applications driving most of the volumes as observed by producers and suppliers, IBTC said. New applications, such as in the process material, metallurgy and sequestration material industries, are anticipated to also become key drivers by 2030. Europe is currently the main geography driving developments in the torrefied and carbonised biomass sector. A geographical shift is anticipated by the end of the decade, with North America expected to significantly close its gap to Europe, and Asia also set to become the third-largest geography, IBTC data show. By Marta Imarisio Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Generic Hero Banner

Business intelligence reports

Get concise, trustworthy and unbiased analysis of the latest trends and developments in oil and energy markets. These reports are specially created for decision makers who don’t have time to track markets day-by-day, minute-by-minute.

Learn more