The Ship of the Year Award 2021 given by the Japan Society of Naval Architects and Ocean Engineers (JASNAOE) had 11 candidate vessels to choose from this year, the 32nd year of the annual event. The Ship of the Year award are given to outstanding vessels or offshore structures built in the past year based on technical, artistic, and social considerations. The candidate announcement meeting and the selection meeting for the Ship of the Year Award 2021 were held on May 10 as an online conference due to the constraints of COVID-19.
The SUISO FRONTIER built by Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. was the winner of the Ship of the Year Award 2021 as the world's first liquefied hydrogen (LH2) carrier in Japan. Other winners of individual sectors were the CENTURY HIGHWAY GREEN (Large cargo ship sector), the SHIOJI MARU (Fishing ship/research ship sector), the HYDROBINGO (Small passenger ship sector), and the RYUTO (Small cargo ship sector).
The prize award ceremony took place at the Kaiun Club on July 22, as a joint event organized by the three academic societies in the maritime science sector, the JASNAOE, Japan Institute of Marine Engineering (JIME), and Japan Institute of Navigation (JIN).
The winner of the Ship of the Year Award 2021 was the world's first large ocean-going LH2 carrier, SUISO FRONTIER, designed for long-distance transport. Hydrogen is now expected to be widely used as a next generation energy source as combustion emits no CO2. Kawasaki completed the ship by developing the cryogenic LH2-cargo tank and piping system based on its technological expertise of vacuum-insulation piping system for constructing LH2 processing and storing facilities on land. This ship design will enable stable and low-cost supply of hydrogen from overseas sources and stimulate wider use of hydrogen as a fuel in various fields, decreasing the supply costs of hydrogen.
TKawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd. has set the target of 50% improvement over the 40% reduction in CO2 emissions specified by IMO in 2008. Consequently, the company has built the CENTURY HIGHWAY GREEN, a vehicle carrier, powered with Japan's first high-pressure LNG-fueled main engine at its domestic shipyard. This carrier has the world's first remote-inspection adaptable system as a digital-flag ship using inboard-transmission infrastructures to anticipate future the requirements.
The SHIOJI MARU is a training and research ship of the Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology. As a moving campus and moving laboratory, the ship has facilities for both training and study in the areas of ship operation and the marine environment for trainees hoping to become ship officers, students, and related personnel. Moreover, the ship is provided with facilities for training and study for marine development together with disaster-support functions. Therefore, the vessel is expected to increase the training and study resources related to shipping and the marine environment in Japan.
The RYUTO, a coasting chemical tanker, is designed with adoption of the "Integrated remote cargo-handling system," "Ship's arriving/leaving-support system," and "Remote monitoring system" developed based on advanced digital technology. With these digital technologies, labor of the crew can be reduced appropriately. The coastal tanker requires considerable labor for cargo-handling work, high ship-operation skill for entering and leaving port, and watch-keeping for the engine room and other functions. All such burdens can be reduced thus allowing labor-saving amid the serious labor shortage.
The HYDROBINGO is the world's first passenger ferry propelled by a dual-fuel engine using hydrogen and light oil, which can decrease CO2 emissions by up to 50%. In the absence of a hydrogen-supply infrastructure, the ship can navigate with only light-oil fuel. A unique hydrogen fuel system and a special hydrogen tank trailer have been developed as well. The ship was designed and arranged to be used by a variety of passengers to comply with the Transportation Accessibility Improvement Law.