Japan to Develop Fully Electric Vessels

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

August 6, 2019

Pic: Mitsui O.S.K. Lines

Pic: Mitsui O.S.K. Lines

Japanese shipping major Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) and three other compatriot firms have joined hands to establish a new company that will develop and promote zero-emission fully electric vessels.

Asahi Tanker Co, a shipping company to transport petroleum, Japan's largest trading company  Mitsubishi Corp, and the shipping & marine supplier  Exeno Yamamizu Corp have joined MOL to set up e5 Lab Inc that will consolidate the technologies, know-how and network of the four major shareholders.

e5 Lab will work to develop and promote the greater use of these relatively clean modes of marine transport, MOL said in a press release.

There are a number of challenges facing Japan's shipping industry (see below), which e5 Lab will seek to address by consolidating the technologies, know-how and networks of its four major shareholders.

The new company will develop a platform to provide a lineup of services that takes advantage of electrically powered vessels and other cutting-edge technologies. The aim is to leverage this platform to encourage sustainable growth and development within the marine shipping industry.

The first objective for e5 Lab will be to build the world's first zero-emission tanker by mid 2021. The tanker will be a coastal vessel powered by large-capacity batteries and will operate in Tokyo Bay. The company will also develop other kinds of electrically powered vessels to address the abovementioned challenges.

Furthermore, e5 Lab will actively promote the electrification of both coastal and ocean-going vessels, and pool the technologies, human resources and operational know-how needed to achieve the 50% GHG reduction target of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) as soon as possible (the IMO wants to see annual emissions drop to half of their 2008 levels by the year 2025).

By delivering five kinds of e-value ("Electrification," "Environment," "Evolution," "Efficiency," and "Economics") e5 Lab will offer new innovation to society.

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