NYK Starts Construction of Biofuels Test Facility for Maritime Use
Japanese shipping major NYK Group has marked the start of construction of a test facility that will serve to assess the safety of biofuels and accelerate their practical application as marine fuels.
NYK plans to complete the installation of the test engine in June and analyze the biofuel in combustion tests over the next three years.
The test engine will be a reused generator from the tugboat Sakigake, which is currently being converted to an ammonia-fueled tug, according to NYK.
NYK companies Boltech. and Nippon Yuka Kogyo will also participate in this project by utilizing their engine-operation and fuel-oil-analysis technologies to verify the potential of various biofuels.
Biofuels are produced from various raw materials, including grains and waste cooking oil, but only a few are currently being commercialized.
More types of biofuels are expected to be commercialized in the future as demand for biofuels increases.
However, about a year of testing and analysis at an external engine facility, followed by 12–18 months of onboard trials, is needed before continuous shipboard use of new fuels.
NYK expects to shorten the test period and the time until the new fuel can be used on board by owning and operating the test engine, the company said.