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Japan launches first dual-fuel LNG bunker tanker

Japan has launched its first dual-fuel LNG bunkering vessel which is part of an effort to develop the country’s supply chain and bunkering capabilities.

The vessel will be the first to operate specifically in western Japan both to bunker oceangoing vessels and for the coastal transport of LNG.

The Keys Azalea will have a loadable capacity of 3,500 cbm of LNG. The vessel will be 82.30 metres in length and approximately 4,850 gross tonnes.

The Keys Azalea, due for delivery in March 2024, will build out the LNG capabilities in western Japan in the Kyushu-Setouchi area, servicing ports including Hirado, Hiroshima, and Okayama. This will be Japan's first LNG bunkering project to supply LNG to vessels in this area.

The vessel was built for Keys Bunkering West Japan. The company is a joint venture established in February 2022 to supply LNG fuel for ships and operate a coastal transportation business. The company is part of the broader effort supported by the Japanese government to promote decarbonisation in the marine industry in part through the expanded use of LNG as well as the development of new alternative fuels.

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