Mr. Shigeki Kinoshita,
Japan Ship Machinery and Equipment Association, JSMEA
My name is Shigeki Kinoshita. The focus of my studies at university was on gas turbines. I joined Daihatsu Diesel in 1977 and most of my work has been involved with the design and production of gas turbine engines. I became a director of Daihatsu Diesel in 2012 and became Chairman in 2020. I was appointed Vice Chairman of JSMEA in 2017 and Chairman in 2021. My hobbies are golf and motorbike riding. I am a member of several institutes including the Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Gas Turbine Society of Japan, the Combustion Society of Japan, the Japan Institute of Marine Engineering, and the Japan Society of Naval Architects and Ocean Engineers.
To lead the way for the shipping industry to decarbonisation, the Japanese government announced the realization of the first generation “Zero Emission Ship in 2028”. Can you tell us more on this programme? And how does JSMEA envision the future?
In October 2021, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) and the Japan Shipowners’ Association (JSA) declared their goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050 in the international shipping field. Furthermore, in April 2022, the “International Maritime Transport 2050 was established to achieve this goal, and I am participating in the discussions as a member of this council.
Following these actions, the Japanese government has established an unprecedented 2 trillion yen “Green Innovation Fund” to promote the development of technologies for decarbonization in various industrial sectors, part of which will be used for the “Next Generation Ship Development” project in the shipping sector to commercialize world-leading zero-emission ships. The “Ship Development” project has begun. The scale of this project is approximately 38 billion yen.
In addition, MLIT has been working toward the development of next-generation ship technologies through the integration and collaboration of shipyards and ship machinery manufacturers in order for Japan’s maritime industry to survive the international competition in the future.) In both of these projects, ship machinery is an important development element. Therefore, we would like to lead the international community’s efforts to achieve “carbon neutrality in international shipping” and enhance our presence in the international market by taking advantage of the public technical development support program in accordance with international regulations, while taking the initiative of Japanese ship machinery manufacturers and collaborating with shipowners, shipyards, and other users.
The “Development of Next-Generation Ships” project has three major research and development items.
① In the development of hydrogen-fueled ships, hydrogen-fueled engines, fuel tanks, and fuel supply systems will be developed, and hydrogen-fueled ships will be in demonstration operation by 2030.
② For the development of ammonia-fueled ships, develop ammonia-fueled engines, fuel tanks, and fuel supply systems, and establish a marine ammonia fuel supply system to achieve commercial operation as early as possible by 2028.
③ Methane slip countermeasures for LNG-fueled ships, achieve a methane slip reduction rate of 60% or more for LNG-fueled ships by 2026.
What are the technologies developed in Japan toward zero emissions and digitalization?
The question regarding zero-emission vessels was already answered in Q1.
The Nippon Foundation’s “MEGURI204” project, which aims to commercialize autonomous vessels by 2025, has been attracting attention as a recent project in the development of autonomous vessels. The demonstration experiment by five consortiums was successfully conducted from January to March 2022. In this demonstration experiment, navigation in waters with extremely heavy vessel traffic, long-distance navigation, and demonstration using large vessels were conducted for the first time in the world, all of which were successful.
Many JSMEA member companies are participating in this project and making significant contributions to the development of technologies for data exchange and data utilization on board and on shore, as well as technologies for linking with onboard equipment.
The use of AI is also an important element in the realization of autonomous vessels, and AI makes accurate judgments based on a wealth of experience. In other words, not only digital technology but also a wealth of experience is important. In this respect, Japanese ship machinery manufacturers have a long track record of supplying high-quality, high-performance products and providing extensive after-sales service, and have earned the trust and feedback of users around the world. We believe that the fusion of these achievements and digital technology will be required for future ship machinery, and we believe that Japanese ship machinery manufacturers who can achieve the fusion of the two will lead the world in technological development. We will continue to supply environmentally friendly marine equipment that is trusted by crews, including new products developed in this way.
What are the highlights of the Japan Pavilion at the upcoming Marintec China?
19 JSMEA member companies and Class NK will be exhibiting in the Japan Pavilion, introducing their latest technologies and new products.
The maritime industry is said to be undergoing a once-in-a-century transformation, including a shift to new fuels, and we are working together as an all-Japan team to face the big waves of environmental responsiveness and digitalization. In the Japan Pavilion, we plan to exhibit and explain the development status of hydrogen and ammonia fuel engines, as well as carbon neutral products and equipment related to the MEGURI 2040 project, as explained earlier. We hope that visitors to the Japan Pavilion will come in contact with Japan’s latest technologies and developments, as we will demonstrate that Japan is actively working on carbon neutrality and digitalization.
How would you describe Marintec China to someone who has never visited?
Marintec China is the world’s largest maritime exhibition, attracting important users such as Chinese shipowners with the world’s largest fleet and Chinese shipyards with the world’s largest construction scale, providing an excellent opportunity to build relationships and conduct new business negotiations.
The Japan Pavilion at Marintec China is the largest of its kind among the many maritime exhibitions that JSMEA participates in around the world. The Chinese market is the largest export destination for Japanese marine equipment, with the exception of outboard motors, and is recognized as an important market. Therefore, many of our member companies consider this exhibition to be very important.
We are looking forward to meeting many Chinese customers and other visitors at Marintec China, which will be held for the first time in three years.