Japanese firms Asahi Tanker Co., Ltd., Exeno Yamamizu Corporation, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd., and Mitsubishi Corporation on Tuesday (6 August) announced an agreement to create a strategic partnership to provide new infrastructure services in the marine shipping industry that focus on electrically powered vessels.
Their newly established company, e5 Lab. Inc. (e5 Lab) will work to develop and promote the greater use of these relatively clean modes of marine transport, they say.
There are a number of challenges facing Japan's shipping industry 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 seven challenges to be addressed by e5 Lab are as follows:
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 2050).
By delivering five kinds of e-value ("Electrification," "Environment," "Evolution," "Efficiency," and "Economics") e5 Lab will offer new innovation to society.
Photo credit: Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd.
Published: 8 August, 2019
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