The three Big heads in Japanese engine manufacturing units, Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI), Yanmar Power Technology, and Japan Engine Corporation are planning a joint venture to design and develop a Hydrogen-powered diesel engine for propelling the seaborne merchant vessels by 2025. This will align the minds of the shipbuilders around the globe to manufacture hydrogen-fuelled vessels.
This consortium particularly aims to develop hydrogen-fuelled engines for vessels that are large and are operating mainly in domestic and international routes. Besides this, they are also trying to develop an integrated system design, that will combinedly produce the efficiency of the hydrogen storage and the hydrogen fuel propulsion system aided by fuelling equipment.
The venture is joint but, the companies are working separately to tackle different problems regarding the prospect of this idea. Following Yanmar, working at creating both types, medium- and high-speed four-stroke engines, KHI is also focusing on developing a better medium-speed four-stroke engine while Japan Engines idealizing to work on something different, is working on low-speed two-stroke engines. With a vision of completely developing a line of engines, acting as main or auxiliary marine engines, the companies are dealing with various requirements to maximize power generation.
KHI along with other Japanese ventures, compromising Shipping organization NYK Line is already planning to launch test projects, powering a fuel cell passenger ferry at Yokohama port by hydrogen in 2024. Parallelly, Yokohama is partnering with Japanese shipping line Mitsui OSK, to be its alliance in developing a Mol Techno-Trade influenced small hydrogen-fuelled ferry. Participation of KHI and Yanmar with other firms is leading to anticipation of blossom in their joint venture.
Hydrogen is a green alternative in the Maritime Industry, which is expected to marginally reduce the greenhouse effect, nearly by 50% as compared to the 2008 levels. Many countries have tightened their greenhouse gas commitments, leading to higher demands of Hydrogen in the upcoming years to meet the 2050 decarbonization mark. Japan is one of the countries to do so and is rapidly shifting gears to move towards a sustainable and eco-friendly vessel making, slapping hard on the faces of its down-the-lane rivals – China and South Korea.
Japan is promptly waiting for the CMB ( a Belgian shipping firm) and Tsuneishi Facilities & craft ( Japanese shipbuilder), made 19 gross tonne vessel. Named as HydroBingo, she will the first hydrogen-fuelled and -powered ferry operating in the Japanese waters.