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    Mitsubishi to Start Trails of Compact LNG Station in Hokkaido


It will be used to fuel heavy LNG-powered trucks.

by: Shardul Sharma

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Natural Gas & LNG News, Asia/Oceania, Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), Corporate, Gas for Transport, News By Country, Japan

Mitsubishi to Start Trails of Compact LNG Station in Hokkaido

Mitsubishi Corp and Air Water will next month start trails in Hokkaido of a compact LNG filling station that can be used in space-limited logistics facilities, Mitsubishi said on October 27. It will be used to fuel heavy LNG-powered trucks.

“This is the first portable filling system in Japan and the world's first off-grid power-generation system capable of fuelling trucks with LNG even during power outages,” Mitsubishi said. “Furthermore, by circulating hot water through its waste-heat recovery mechanism, the system can help to prevent freezing problems associated with LNG operations in cold or highly humid regions.”

The Hokkaido facility will be used to fuel three heavy LNG trucks, one manufactured by Isuzu Motors and the other two by an Italian firm. “With the cooperation of Hokkaido Electric Power, the partners plan to assess the system’s overall effectiveness and how much it can reduce CO2 emissions and fuels costs typically generated by heavy trucks,” Mitsubishi said, adding the results of the tests will help determine whether or not to make the system commercially available.

The compact filling station is 3.3 x 12 m in size, covering the same space used for parking a heavy truck, according to Mitsubishi. The plan is to make each station capable of fuelling more than 60 trucks/day.

Heavy trucks fuelled by LNG are not currently in commercial use in Japan. Most of the heavy trucks on Japan’s roads run on diesel, and there are growing concerns about the need to reduce their CO2 emissions. According to Mitsubishi, unlike trucks powered by electric batteries or fuel cells, LNG-fuelled trucks have range in excess of 1,000 km, and tests have already shown them to be capable of cutting CO2 emissions by more than 10% when compared to diesel-fuelled trucks.

The companies are also considering ways to further reduce CO2 emissions in the future, including by using CO2-free LNG, Mitsubishi said.

“This joint project represents a meaningful step towards our transition to cleaner energies, and both partners are confident that it can help to realise low-carbon or carbon-free societies in the future,” Mitsubishi said. The companies are aiming to install this system in locations throughout Japan by mid-2020s.

Banner image courtesy of Mitsubishi