Starting this month, a consortium of five Japanese organisations is participating in a demonstration project to build a zero-emissions, high-power, hydrogen cell vessel by 2024
Japan’s national R&D agency New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organisation (NEDO) approved the participation of NYK Line, Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corporation, Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd, ClassNK, and ENEOS Corporation in the demonstration project. The project is Japan’s first effort to develop a commercial fuel cell vessel and carry out a demonstration operation involving the supply of hydrogen fuel. By using fuel cells as a power source, it will be possible to completely eliminate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions during operations.
Functioning as a medium-sized tourist ship, the fuel cell-powered vessel will have a gross tonnage of 150, with a passenger capacity of about 100. The consortium will begin a fuel cell vessel and hydrogen fuel supply feasibility study this month, followed by the design of the vessel and hydrogen fuel supply equipment in 2021. Construction of the vessel will start in 2023, with pilot operations along the coast of Yokohama port beginning in 2024.
Each organisation brings specific and complementary technology, experience and know-how to the project. Toshiba will ‘marinise’ its mobile high-power fuel cell technology, while Kawasaki is developing an onboard fuel supply system and energy management system. Shipowner NYK will develop, build and operate the ship, ClassNK will provide third-party verification of the safety of the vessel, and ENEOS will supply hydrogen fuel.
With the entry into force of the Paris Agreement in 2016, global momentum for decarbonisation has increased, and reducing GHG emissions has become an issue in the shipping sector. In 2018, IMO set a target of cutting GHG emissions from the international shipping in half by 2050 and reaching a target of zero emissions as early as the end of this century.
Using hydrogen fuel cells in transport is part of the Japan Government’s ’Strategy for Developing Hydrogen and Fuel-Cell Technologies’. Fuel cell technology is expected to expand from small vessels (gross tonnage of less than 20 tonnes) to high-power fuel cell applications in larger vessels.
Riviera is hosting a week of free to attend 45-minute webinars focused on marine propulsion commencing 29 September. Register your interest now