Delivery of Newly Developed LNG Transport Vessel LNG SAKURA

Feb. 26, 2018

Tokyo, February 26, 2018 — Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. today delivered the LNG SAKURA (Kawasaki hull no. 1731), a 177,000 m3 capacity liquefied natural gas (LNG) transport vessel for use by The Kansai Electric Power Company, Inc. (KEPCO) and Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK Line).

The first of Kawasaki's line of 177,000 m3 capacity LNG carriers to be commissioned, this ship is designed to enable passage through the newly expanded Panama Canal, which opened for full operations in 2016. The LNG SAKURA will be used by KEPCO to transport LNG procured via the Cove Point LNG Project in the U.S. The vessel features standard LNG carrier hull dimensions in order to enable docking at major LNG terminals around the world while offering larger cargo tanks for increased transport capacity, thus cutting LNG transport costs and facilitating more flexible LNG trade operations by shipowners.

Kawasaki has optimized the hull structure to decrease overall ship weight, enhanced the hull-shape design, and adopted a twin-propulsion motor, twin-screw propulsion system (the first of its kind in a large-size Kawasaki vessel), all of which help achieve the best propulsive performance possible. In addition, the company integrated a DFD electric propulsion system* for the first time in any Moss type LNG carrier worldwide, which increases fuel efficiency at all speeds.

Moving forward, Kawasaki will continue to pursue shipbuilding operations in light of the anticipated rise in demand for LNG and other clean-energy fuels.

Delivery, principal particulars, and features of the vessel are as described below.

Delivery February 26, 2018
Principal Particulars
Length overall 300.00 m
Length between perpendiculars 286.00 m
Molded breadth 48.90 m
Molded depth 27.00 m
Molded draft 11.80 m
Gross tonnage 135,977 T
Deadweight 82,137 t
Tank cargo capacity 177,377m3 (at -163°C, 100% capacity)
Main propulsion system 2 sets of main propulsion motor
2 sets of one input, one output, single stage reduction gear
Speed Approx. 19.5 kn
Complement 38 people
Classification Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (ClassNK)
Country of registration Bahamas


  1. This large-scale LNG carrier is equipped with four independent Moss LNG tanks for a total cargo capacity of 177,377 m3. By increasing the LNG tank diameter of existing 164,700 m3 LNG carriers to the maximum installable limit and utilizing stretched tanks, Kawasaki has successfully expanded the maximum LNG carrying capacities of carriers designed to pass through the newly expanded Panama Canal.
  2. The LNG SAKURA is the first completed and delivered LNG carrier that uses a DFD* electric propulsion system, which enables greater fuel efficiency than the existing steam turbine plant design. Moreover, the inclusion of a two-engine, twin-screw propulsion system enables high propulsive performance at a wide range of speeds.
  3. The thermal insulation system of the LNG tanks adopts the proprietary Kawasaki Panel System developed in-house, which offers outstanding heat insulation performance for an LNG boil-off rate of no more than approximately 0.08% per day.
  4. The cargo tank section is protected by a double-hull and double-bottom design, so even if the carrier's hull were to sustain damage the LNG tanks within would remain safe and undamaged.
  5. The bridge is designed with state-of-the-art electronic navigation equipment concentrated in one location for greater ease of operation as well as panoramic windows offering a 360-degree view to the outside.

* The dual fuel diesel (DFD) engine is capable of burning both oil and gas, whereas a conventional generator engine can only burn oil for fuel. The propulsion system comprises multiple generator diesel engines and variable-speed propulsion motors. Either gas or oil is supplied to the engines to generate electricity, which drives the propulsion motors that power the propeller.


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