THREE Japanese engine manufacturers have formed a consortium to develop hydrogen-fuelled marine engines for ocean-going and coastal vessels. They aim to bring these engines to market by 2025.

Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Yanmar Power Technology and Japan Engine Corporation aim to co-operate on common fundamental technologies. They will work together on basic experiments and analysis on hydrogen combustion, materials and sealing techniques. The companies will also co-operate in the area of classification society requirements.

Kawasaki Heavy Industries will develop medium-speed four-stroke engines. Yanmar Power Technology will focus on medium- and high-speed four-stroke engines. And, Japan Engine Corporation will embark on the development of low-speed two-stroke engines.

All three simultaneous developments will enhance the product line up of propulsion and auxiliary (generator) engines for a wide range of vessels. In addition, the companies will develop a hydrogen fuel storage and supply system as part of the integrated hydrogen fuel system.

Hydrogen is one potentially zero-carbon fuels that are vying to be the new way to power maritime transportation.

Depending on the method of production, using hydrogen as a fuel can be completely free of carbon emissions.

However, producing hydrogen is energy intensive, and currently much energy is produced from carbon-producing coal and natural gas.