Japanese Companies Join Forces to Develop Commercial Fuel Cell Vessel

nyk h2 ship.jpg

September 1, 2020

5 Japanese Companies to Participate in the Commercialization of Fuel Cell Vessels


The New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) has given its approval for five Japanese companies to participate in a demonstration project to develop and commercialize high-power fuel cell vessels.

The five Japanese companies joining forces in this project are NYK Line, Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corporation, Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd., Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (ClassNK), and ENEOS Corporation. 

Image: NYK Representation Image

The Project


The project, which will begin in September 2020, is Japan's first effort to develop a commercially available fuel cell vessel and carry out a demonstration operation involving the supply of hydrogen fuel. By using fuel cells as a power source, it will be possible to completely eliminate greenhouse gas emissions during navigation.

Developing a 150-Tonnes Class High-Power Fuel Cell Vessel


The five companies will develop an about 150-ton class (i.e. passenger capacity: approx.100) high-power fuel cell vessel that will function as a medium-sized tourist ship. The passenger capacity of this ship is approximately 100. In 2024 the companies will carry out a demonstration operation of the fuel cell vessel together with a demonstration supply of hydrogen fuel. The construction and production are expected to start in 2023. The pilot operation of the vessel along the coast of Yokohama port is scheduled to begin in 2024.

Reducing Emissions in the International Shipping Sector


In 2018, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) set a goal of halving greenhouse gas emissions from the international shipping sector by 2050 and reaching a target of zero as early as the end of this century. 

The utilization of fuel cell systems in transport beyond passenger cars is cited as an issue in the action plan of industry, academia, and government for the realization of a hydrogen society in the “Strategy for Developing Hydrogen and Fuel-Cell Technologies '' formulated by the Japanese government in 2019. From the development of small fuel cell vessels (gross tonnage less than 20 ton) that have already been promoted in Japan, the spread and expansion of high-power fuel cells to larger vessels is expected.

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