Japanese trio to trial hydrogen-fueled engine for large ocean and coastal vessels

Japanese shipping company Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) and its wholly-owned subsidiary MOL Drybulk have signed a basic agreement with their compatriot Japan Engine Corporation (J-ENG) to cooperate in a trial of a hydrogen-fueled engine equipped on an in-service vessel.

As informed, MOL and MOL Drybulk will operate the vessel while J-ENG is in charge of developing what is said to be the world’s first low-speed, two-stroke hydrogen-fueled marine engine.

3D-view of the hydrogen-fueled engine (Image by MOL)

Under the agreement, the Japanese trio will conduct a trial with an in-service vessel equipped with a hydrogen-fueled engine, aiming to commercialise net-zero hydrogen-powered vessels and promote their wide adoption in the ocean shipping industry.

In cooperation with Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Yanmar Power Technology, J-ENG will develop the hydrogen-fueled engine, which is expected to be the world’s first main engine for large ocean-going or coastal vessels.

The engine development was selected for a government-subsidized project by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), part of the Green Innovation Funding Program.

In efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as measures to address climate change, the ocean shipping industry has also promoted a shift to environment-friendly, next-generation fuels.

For its part, the MOL Group aims to deploy net-zero emissions ocean-going vessels in the 2020s and achieve net-zero GHG emissions by 2050, as set out in the “MOL Group Environmental Vision 2.1.”.

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