Japanese firms join hands to develop zero-emission electric vessel

Seven Japanese companies have teamed up to develop and to eventually commercialise zero-emission electric vessels.

Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL), Asahi Tanker, Idemitsu Kosan, Mitsubishi Corporation, Tokyo Electric Power Company, Exeno Yamamizu Corporation, and Tokio Marine & Fire Insurance Co have established the ‘e5 Consortium’ to achieve the goal.

The consortium aims to establish a platform that offers innovative ocean shipping infrastructure services based on electric vessels bringing to bear the strength, technological know-how, networks, and other advantages of each member company.

Under the first phrase of the project, e5 Consortium plans to launch the world’s first zero-emission electric tanker, powered by large-capacity lithium ion batteries, in March 2022.

The e5 Consortium believes that by providing added value to the coastal shipping industry through the development and introduction of advanced vessels, it will also aid in promoting the sustainable growth of coastal shipping in Japan and contributing to the nation’s social and economic development.

Coastal shipping in Japan faces structural issues such as a shortage of mariners due to the aging of the seagoing workforce, not to mention the aging of the vessels. In addition, the ocean shipping industry has urged the coastal shipping industry to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) as one of Japan’s measures to address climate change.

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