Asahi Tanker Co, Exeno Yamamizu Corporation, Mitsui OSK Lines and Mitsubishi Corporation have agreed 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 aims to address the five e’s: electrification, environment, evolution, efficiency and economics
The new company, e5 Lab Inc, (e5 Lab) will develop and promote the use of clean modes of marine transport.
The announcement appears to be an expansion of partners in the earlier project from Asahi Tanker Co Ltd and Exeno-Yamamizu Corporation Tokyo, to developed the new domestic shipping tanker design ’e5’ which incorporates “zero emissions electric propulsion”.
The new consortium has identified challenges facing Japan’s shipping industry (see below), which e5 Lab will address by consolidating the technologies, know-how and networks of its four major shareholders. The new company will develop a platform to provide a line-up 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.
Challenges to be addressed by e5 Lab
The first objective for e5 Lab will be to build the world’s first zero-emissions 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 above mentioned challenges.
Furthermore, e5 Lab states it 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 IMO as soon as possible, if not before the target of annual emissions dropping to half of their 2008 levels by 2050.