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LNG Transportation and Supply Methods


JAPEX serves various LNG transportation and supply methods, such as the LNG satellite system to transport by tank trucks, LNG tank containers on railway, and LNG bunkering for supplying as a marine fuel.


LNG Satellite System

LNG Satellite System is a method to transport LNG as liquid form, using transportation designed to transport LNG, for demands in areas that does not have gas pipelines.

JAPEX provides LNG satellite system using LNG tank trucks and LNG tank containers on railway to Hokkaido and Tohoku region.

Transportation by LNG Tank Trucks

This is a transportation using vehicles dedicated to transport LNG (LNG tank trucks). We load LNG to LNG tank trucks as liquid form, and transport and deliver them to our clients.

Currently, we supply LNG to wide range of areas using LNG tank trucks from our LNG supply base, such as Soma LNG Terminal and Yufutsu LNG Plant.


LNG shipping facility for tank trucks at Soma LNG Terminal

Transportation by LNG Tank Containers by Rail

"LNG tank containers by railway" is a transportation method that uses LNG tank containers handled as railway cargos. These containers are shipped from an LNG receiving terminal to freight train stations by dedicated tank trucks and then to destinations by railway as cargos. LNG tank containers that have arrived at a destination freight train station are shipped to clients by dedicated tank trucks.

LNG tank containers on rail has advantages in transportation, such as having suitablity for long-distance and less CO2 emissions.

JAPEX developed this method as a breakthrough solution to "transport LNG in tank containers on railway" and implemented commercially to our domestic natural gas supply network in 2001, for the first time in Japan. We have its operation track records in Hokkaido and Hokuriku areas, and  make responses to interests in the solution from abroad.


Loading of LNG tank containers at a freight train station

LNG Bunkering

LNG bunkering is a method of LNG supply as liquid form to a LNG fueled ship directly. The origin of the expression is the combination of two words, "LNG," which is the abbreviation of liquefied natural gas, and "bunkering," which means the supply of fuel to a berthing ship by a specialized ship called "bunker ship." LNG bunkering is one of the noted methods required for responding to the global environmental initiatives of marine fuels.

LNG bunkering has several supply methods, such as Truck-to-Ship, which supplies by connecting LNG tank trucks on shore, and Ship-to-Ship, which supplies LNG fuel by a supply ship called "bunkering ship."

Efforts by JAPEX

JAPEX has been making efforts to expand LNG supply for LNG-fueled ships. As one of the efforts, we are considering the early implementation of LNG bunkering supplying from our domestic LNG supply locations, mainly by Truck-to-Ship and Ship-to-Ship methods.

Efforts at Tomakomai Area, Hokkaido

JAPEX has participated in a study and trial with the port authorities and related companies surrounding Tomakomai Port, aiming the contribution to realize LNG bunkering at the Tomakomai Port, with utilizing our LNG supply facilities in the port.

  • LNG Bunkering Trial at Tomakomai Port (2022, held with Tomakomai Port Authority): Had a trial to supply LNG as fuel to a LNG-fueled tugboat "Ishin" by Truck-to-Ship method.
  • Tomakomai Port LNG Bunkering Study Group (2019-2020, hosted by Tomakomai Port Authority and organized by JAPEX): Had a study group that participated in local and port officials and private companies to identify the issues for each implementation method of LNG bunkering, examine their solutions, and confirm applicable laws and regulations.


In winter of 2011-2012, we held a LNG direct transfer by Ship-to-Ship method from an ocean-going LNG carrier to our chartered coastal LNG vessel at offshore Tomakomi Port, to receive LNG for our commercial use. We have been utilizing obtained knowledge and experience in this time for our LNG bunkering business.


Ship-to-Ship LNG transfer at offshore Tomakomai Port

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