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Argus Media: Japanese firms develop hydrogen engines for large ships

28 Apr 2021

Rieko Suda of global energy and commodity price reporting agency Argus Media on Tuesday (27 April) published a summary of several Japanese engine manufacturers developing hydrogen marine engines for large, ocean-going ships:

Japanese engine manufacturers have teamed up to attempt to develop hydrogen marine engines for large coastal and ocean-going ships by around 2025, as part of efforts to help the country’s shipbuilders fast-track development of hydrogen-fuelled vessels.

Japanese firms Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI), Yanmar Power Technology and Japan Engine today agreed to form a consortium to develop hydrogen-fuelled engines for large commercial vessels operating on domestic and international routes. The group is also targeting to achieve system integration that brings together hydrogen storage and fuelling equipment with a hydrogen fuel propulsion system.

The companies are targeting to complete developing a line of products that can meet various requirements for use as a main or auxiliary marine engine or a power generator. KHI is planning to develop a medium-speed four-stroke engine. Yanmar will work at developing medium- and high-speed four stroke engines, while Japan Engine is to tackle completing low-speed two-stroke engines.

KHI and Yanmar are already participating in projects to develop small hydrogen-powered ferries for domestic routes. KHI and other Japanese firms, including shipping firm NYK Line, are planning to launch pilot operations of a hydrogen-powered fuel cell passenger ferry at Yokohama port in 2024. Yanmar is co-operating with Japanese shipping firm Mitsui OSK Line’s subsidiary Mol Techno-Trade in developing a small hydrogen-fuelled ferry.

Japan is awaiting the official launch of the HydroBingo, the first hydrogen-powered vessel to operate in the country. The 19 gross tonne hydrogen-fuelled ferry is developed by Belgian shipping firm CMB and Japanese shipbuilder Tsuneishi Facilities & Craft.

Demand for hydrogen as a marine fuel is expected to expand as the international shipping industry strives to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50pc by 2050 compared with 2008 levels. A number of countries, including Japan, have also toughened their greenhouse gas commitments to achieve decarbonisation by 2050, prompting Japanese shipbuilders to speed up a shift to greener and zero-emissions vessels and tap decarbonisation potential in competition against their Chinese and South Korean rivals.


Photo credit: Argus Media
Published: 28 April, 2021

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