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Japanese consortium aims to trial commercial ferry with hydrogen as bunker fuel by 2024

02 Sep 2020

Japanese shipping firm NYK Line, Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corporation, Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd., Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (ClassNK), and ENEOS Corporation on Tuesday (1 September) said the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) has approved the companies’ participation in a demonstration project for the commercialisation of high-power Fuel Cell (FC) vessels. 

The project will begin in September 2020 and is Japan’s first effort to develop a commercially available FC vessel and carry out a demonstration operation involving the supply of hydrogen fuel. 

By using FCs as a power source, it will be possible to completely eliminate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions during navigation.

The companies said they aim to develop an approximately 150 tonne class (i.e. passenger capacity: approx.100) high-power FC vessel that will function as a medium-sized tourist ship, and in 2024 carry out a demonstration operation of the FC vessel together with a demonstration supply of hydrogen fuel. 

They said an FC vessel and hydrogen-fuel-supply feasibility study will begin in September2020 and start designing the vessel and hydrogen-fuel-supply equipment in 2021.

Construction and production is expected to start in 2023, and pilot operation of the vessel along the coast of Yokohama port is scheduled to begin in 2024.

The companies said they will target newly constructed domestic vessels in the entire vessel value chain (i.e., hydrogen equipment development, hull design and construction, operation, fuel supply), focusing on the following items:

  1. Implementation of high-power FC system on vessels and development of operation technology
  2. Development of onboard hydrogen fuel supply system/equipment; development of energy management system (EMS) combining FC and storage battery
  3. Development of hydrogen fuel supply system
  4. Application to vessels through new vessel design and development (i.e., newly design and develop the vessel’s hull so that it can optimally operate with FC as power)

Photo credit: NYK Line
Published 2 September, 2020

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