Japanese giants team up to develop electric vessel infrastructure across the nation

More Japanese companies are joining Asahi Tankers’ pioneering efforts to make electric vessels a commonplace reality in local waters.

Asahi Tankers has been at the forefront of developing zero-zero-emission electric vessels, building up partners along the way, and readying a landmark first order.

The company has now been joined by parent Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL), Idemitsu Kosan, Exeno Yamamizu, Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance, Tokyo Electric Power Company, and Mitsubishi Corporation in establishing the e5 Consortium with the goal of creating new ocean shipping infrastructure services through various initiatives to develop, realise, and commercialise zero-emission electric vessels.

“Coastal shipping in Japan faces structural issues such as a shortage of mariners due to the ageing of the 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 (GHGs) as one of Japan’s measures to address climate change,” a press release from MOL stated today.

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.

As the first phrase of the project, the consortium plans to launch the world’s first zero-emission electric tanker, powered by large-capacity lithium ion batteries, in March 2022.

The name e5 stands for electrification, environment, evolution, efficiency, and economics.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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