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Japan to work on commercialisation of high-power fuel cell vessels

Japan to work on commercialisation of high-power fuel cell vessels

NYK Line, Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Organization, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, ClassNK and ENEOS have approved the involvement of the Japanese New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) in a demonstration project for the c

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The project, which will commence this month, is Japan's first attempt to build a commercially available FC vessel and conduct a demonstration operation involving hydrogen fuel supply.

According to NYK, by using FCs as a power source, greenhouse gas ( GHG) emissions will be removed completely during navigation.

The five companies plan to build a high-power FC vessel of about 150 tonnes, which will be able to carry about 100 passengers as a medium-sized tourist vessel. The companies intend to perform an FC vessel demonstration project along with a demonstration supply of hydrogen fuel in 2024.

“We will begin an FC vessel and hydrogen-fuel-supply feasibility study in September 2020 and start designing the vessel and hydrogen-fuel-supply equipment in 2021. Construction and production is expected to start in 2023, and pilot operation of the vessel along the coast of Yokohama port is scheduled to begin in 2024,” the Japanese quintet said.

With the Paris Agreement coming into force in 2016 , global momentum for decarbonization has increased, and reducing GHG pollution has become a concern in the shipping sector.

The International Maritime Organization ( IMO) set a goal in 2018 to halve GHG emissions from the international shipping industry by 2050 and to meet a zero goal as early as the end of this century.

NYK Line will be responsible for project planning, ship design and legal compliance, Toshiba for the achievement of high-power FC system on vessels and the development of operating technology, Kawasaki for the development of onboard hydrogen fuel supply system and EMS, Class NK for ship safety requirements and ENEOS for hydrogen fuel supply system development.

Maritime Business World 

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