NYK signed contracts with Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction Co. Ltd. in South Korea to build the world's first so-called bunkering vessel that will be designed to provide LNG to ships fueled by the super-cooled gas.
Bunkering is the ship-to-ship transfer of fuel.
NYK said the LNG fueling vessel will be delivered from its South Korean shipyard to a port in Belgium by 2015. It will be designed specifically to service vessels operating in the North and Baltic Seas.
NYK said the fueling vessel is fit for purpose in a European community working to curb greenhouse gas emissions.
The measure is part of a joint initiative between NYK, Mitsubishi Corp. and French energy company GDF Suez.
"GDF Suez regards LNG as the future of bunkering," said Jean-Marie Dauger, the company's vice president in charge of LNG business, said in a statement.
The LNG used for the bunkering vessel will be sourced from the French company's portfolio. GDF Suez is the third-largest LNG supplier in the world.