Photo: Courtesy of Almatech

Almatech, e5 Lab to build hydrogen-powered ship

Swiss space and naval company Almatech has teamed up with e5 Lab, a Japanese firm funded by Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Mitsubishi Corporation and others, to develop a passenger vessel powered by the hydrogen fuel cell system.

Almatech, e5 Lab to build hydrogen fuel cell ship
Courtesy of Almatech

The ocean shipping industry is one of the sectors aiming to reduce GHG emissions on a global scale, with Japan as one of the countries that face specific needs to reduce GHG output.

The companies agreed on a partnership to promote the Zero Emission Speed Shuttle (ZESST) and enter the Japanese market. ZESST is an innovative hydrogen-fueled, electric-powered, zero-emission passenger shuttle vessel developed by Almatech.

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e5 Lab, Japanese startup for electrification and digitalisation of ocean-going vessels, is to mediate between Almatech and companies that are interested in using the ship for routes around Japan.

Almatech spent about three years developing ZESST. The hydrogen-fueled shuttle is equipped with high-efficiency hydrogen fuel cells and lithium-ion batteries. Its hull is made of carbon and other lightweight materials. Energy consumption per passenger/cruising range is about one-fifth of conventional diesel engine-powered vessels.

ZESST reportedly uses no fossil fuels at all, and it does not exhaust GHGs, SOx, NOx, and PMs, and generates minimal wake and noise.

Japan is expected to adopt it as the next-generation Mobility as a Service (MaaS) on the water.