Seven Japanese companies have partnered to establish ‘e5 Consortium’ to support the development of electric vessels and their infrastructure in the country.

The initiative includes Asahi Tanker, Idemitsu Kosan, Exeno Yamamizu, Mitsui OSK Lines, Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance, Tokyo Electric Power Company and Mitsubishi.

The consortium will support the development and commercialisation of zero-emission electric vessels with the goal of establishing new ocean shipping infrastructure services.

It is named e5 after the consortium’s five core values of electrification, environment, evolution, efficiency and economics. e5 Lab will serve as the executive office of the consortium.

In a statement, one of the partner companies Mitsubishi said: “Coastal shipping in Japan faces structural issues such as a shortage of mariners due to the ageing of the seagoing workforce, not to mention the ageing 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.

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By GlobalData

“The seven e5 Consortium corporate members are focusing their attention on fulfilling the potential of electric vessels to solve these urgent issues.”

In the first phase, the consortium aims to launch large-capacity lithium-ion battery-powered zero-emission electric tanker in March 2022.

Asahi Tanker decided to build two such electric tankers.

Additionally, the e5 consortium will work to promote sustainable growth of coastal shipping in Japan and work to develop and launch advanced vessels.