The company sees sustainability and emissions reduction as crucial issues and has responded with initiatives throughout its marine transport.

NYK is investing 70 billion yen over six years to develop innovative environmental technology.

In 2009 they built the first ship in the world to be partially propelled by solar power. The Auriga Leader was developed partly as an experimental vessel to gather statistical research on how solar power can assist in powering a ship at sea.

Current projects include the construction of a vessel with an innovative engine design, and a ship which has an innovative system using an air-lubrication to reduce emissions.

The company says “We seek to reduce environmental loads by efficiently using resources, saving energy, reducing waste, encouraging material recycling, and particularly by minimizing emissions of greenhouse gases, ozone-depleting substances, and toxic matter.”

NYK completed the construction of their latest green vessel, the new NYK ALTAIR last year.

The NYK ALTAIR incorporates some innovative developments in engine design. She is fitted with a DU-Wartsila RT FLEX 96C propulsion engine.

The environmental advantages of this engine include smokeless operation at all running speeds and lower fuel consumption than conventional engines.

It also reduces nitrogen oxide emissions and has a highly efficient waste heat recovery system.

A second vessel was completed in December last year featuring an air-lubrication system. Using this method, CO2 emissions are lowered by approximately 10% and it is the first time an air bubble system has been permanently installed on a vessel from its inception.

NYK has a target to achieve “zero emissions ” by 2050 and have designed a concept ship NYK Super Eco Ship 2030 as a milestone for 2030 which focuses on fuel cell technology.

Alison Brown

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