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Japanese Engine Manufacturers Launch Hydrogen Marine Engine Company

Japan marine hydrogen engines
Kawassaki will cooperate building medium-speed 4-stroke engines (Kawasaki file photo)

Published Aug 4, 2021 6:39 PM by The Maritime Executive

As a next step in the development of new, green propulsion systems for the maritime sector, three of Japan’s leading engine manufacturers announced the formation of a new company designed to develop and market hydrogen-fueled marine engines. With the establishment of HyEng Corporation, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Yanmar Power Technology Co., and Japan Engine Corporation are seeking to accelerate their drive to develop new markets, realizing the opportunities for decarbonization in the maritime sector.

With the growing focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the companies expect marine engines to transition to various alternative fuels in the coming years. Among the many alternatives, they highlighted that hydrogen is attracting global interest for its application in a wide range of energy and mobility industrial sectors as a fuel that offers zero emissions. In taking the step to form HyEng, the engine manufacturers are increased their focus with the goal of joint development of world-leading marine hydrogen-fueled engines.

The three companies announced in April 2021 that they were forming a consortium to pursue the joint development of hydrogen-fueled marine engines for ocean-going and coastal vessels. By cooperating on common fundamental technologies, such as basic experiments and analysis on hydrogen combustion, materials, and sealing techniques, as well as classification society requirements, each company aims to bring hydrogen-fueled engines to the market by 2025.

Kawasaki Heavy Industries will develop medium-speed 4-stroke engines, Yanmar Power Technology will focus on medium- and high-speed 4-stroke engines, and Japan Engine Corporation will embark on the development of low-speed 2-stroke engines. By pursuing a strategy of simultaneously developing the three sectors, the companies believe it will enhance the product lineup of propulsion and auxiliary (generator) engines for a wide range of vessels. In addition, a hydrogen fuel storage and supply system will be developed as part of the integrated hydrogen fuel system.

By developing advanced hydrogen marine engine technologies based on distinctive engines and quickly launching in the market, the consortium seeks to contribute to the Japanese shipbuilding industry. Furthermore, the companies aim to revitalize the Japanese maritime industry and realize a sustainable society by promoting the uptake of hydrogen-fueled engine technology for marine vessels.