Asahi Tanker, Exeno Yamamizu Corporation, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL), and Mitsubishi Corporation have established a new company together, e5 Lab. The new partnership is to develop both electrically powered vessels as well as the infrastructure they need.

The first objective for e5 (which stands for Electrification, Environment, Evolution, Efficiency, and Economics) Lab will be to build the world’s first zero-emission tanker by mid 2021. The tanker will be a coastal vessel powered by large-capacity batteries and will operate in Tokyo Bay. Other types of electrically powered vessels are to follow.

Another aim is to provide new infrastructure services in the marine shipping industry that focus on electrically powered vessels. In addition, e5 Lab will actively promote the electrification of both coastal and ocean-going vessels. Finally, the company will pool the technologies, human resources and operational know-how that are to help to achieve the fifty per cent greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction target. This target was set by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) for 2025.