Japanese shipping firm Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK) Line has partnered with PowerX, a company that develops new businesses using large-capacity batteries and power-transmission technologies.

According to the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between the two firms, they will jointly explore partnership prospects to develop marine batteries for vessels, carry out trial navigation and promote a power-transfer ship.

Under the alliance, PowerX will also work on the development and promotion of a power-transfer ship named Power ARK.

This vessel will be used to supply offshore-produced electricity to shore.

In a statement, NYK said: “NYK will promote efforts for the development of marine batteries and ship electrification, in addition to power transfer vessels, by combining PowerX’s innovative ideas and business acumen together with the NYK Group’s expertise and technologies in the global shipping industry.”

Furthermore, NYK will gather knowledge on manpower savings through vessel electrification and use this expertise for the development of manned autonomous ships in the future.

The company also aims to address the problem of declining numbers of seafarers.

This is projected to impact upcoming domestic coastal shipping around Japan.

In April 2019, Japan introduced a new law for promoting the development of offshore wind projects in the country for decarbonising the marine sector.

Last February, NYK unveiled the NYK Group ESG Story, which aims to incorporate ESG into the business’s management plans and promote green activities.

There will able be a focus on reaching sustainable development goals through business activities.

Last month, NYK placed an order for four new liquefied natural gas (LNG)-driven Capesize bulk carriers.