Seven companies – Asahi Tanker Co, Idemitsu Kosan Co, Exeno Yamamizu Corp, Mitsui OSK Lines, Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co, Tokyo Electric Power Company, and Mitsubishi Corporation – have established the e5 Consortium, with the goal of establishing new ocean shipping infrastructure services through various initiatives to develop, realise and commercialise zero-emissions electric vessels.
Coastal shipping in Japan faces structural issues such as a shortage of mariners due to the ageing seagoing workforce, not to mention the ageing of the vessels. In addition, the ocean shipping industry has urged the coastal shipping industry to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases as one of Japan’s measures to address climate change.
The seven e5 Consortium corporate members are focusing their attention on fulfilling the potential of electric vessels to solve these urgent issues. 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.
In the first phase of the project, the consortium plans to launch the world’s first zero-emissions electric tanker, powered by large-capacity lithium ion batteries. e5 Lab Inc will serve as the executive office of the e5 Consortium.
The e5 Consortium will promote the sustainable growth of coastal shipping in Japan and contribute to the nation’s social and economic development by providing added value to the coastal shipping industry by developing and introducing advanced vessels.
Delivery of the first tanker is scheduled for March 2022 and the second in March 2023.
The e5 design has been produced by e5 Laboratory Inc, and has the following specifications:
- Dimension: LOA 62 m, beam 10.30 m, draft 4.15 m
- Classification: ClassNK
- Loading cargo: heavy oil
- Gross tonnage: 499 tonnes
- Speed: 11 knots
- Tank capacity: 1,300 m3
- Propulsion device: Azimuth thruster 300 kW x 2
- Side thruster: 68 kW x 2
- Battery capacity: 3,500 kWh
Propulsive force will be derived from electricity supplied by the hydrogen fuel cell system and large-capacity batteries. In the open sea, the hydrogen hybrid PCC’s motor will be powered by an LNG-fuelled generator and the large-capacity batteries, resulting in significantly lower emissions than current vessels equipped with diesel engines running on heavy oil.