Seven Japan-based companies—Asahi Tanker Co., Ltd.; Idemitsu Kosan Co., Ltd.; Exeno Yamamizu Corporation; Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd.; Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co., Ltd.; Tokyo Electric Power Company; and Mitsubishi Corporation—have formed the e5 Consortium, with the goal of establishing new ocean shipping infrastructure services through various initiatives to develop, realize, and commercialize zero-emission electric vessels.
Image of the e5 electric tanker. Mitsui O.S.K.
Coastal shipping in Japan faces structural issues such as a shortage of mariners due to the aging of the seagoing workforce and the aging 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.
The seven e5 Consortium corporate members are focusing their attention on fulfilling the potential of electric vessels to solve these 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. In March, consortium member Asahi Tanker announced it had decided to build two electric tankers using the e5 tanker planned and designed by e5 Lab.
e5 Lab. Inc., which will serve as the executive office of the e5 Consortium, was jointly established by Asahi Tanker, Exeno Yamamizu Corporation, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, and Mitsubishi Corporation to bring digital solutions and digital transformation to the ocean shipping industry, not only with electric vessels, but also hydrogen fuel batteries, onboard automated equipment, onboard broadband, remote control vessels, and development of a common integrated OS for ocean (vessels).