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Kobe-Osaka International Port Pioneers World’s First Hydrogen-Fueled Cargo Handling Machinery

Kobe-Osaka International Port Corporation, under the leadership of President Takafumi Kido, has announced the commissioning of a “Demonstration Project for Advanced Cargo Handling Machinery at the Hanshin Port” from The Kinki Regional Development Bureau of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism.

The project marks a historic milestone as it introduces the world’s first hydrogen-fueled cargo handling machinery. Specifically, the initiative involves converting a rubber-tired gantry (RTG) crane’s diesel engine generator to a hydrogen engine generator at the Kobe International Container Terminal (KICT), operated by Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd.


Collaborating closely with key industry players, Kobe-Osaka International Port aims to facilitate the seamless and safe integration of hydrogen energy through on-site demonstrations of decarbonized port operations. The collaborative effort includes Shosen Koun Co., Ltd. (operator of KICT), Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. (manufacturer of RTGs), iLabo Co., Ltd. (hydrogen engine manufacturer), Iwatani Corporation (hydrogen supplier and transporter), and Universal Energy Laboratory Corporation (energy-related consultant).


The global anticipation for hydrogen as a clean energy source is escalating, aligning with the pursuit of carbon-neutral ports (CNPs) in Japan’s ports and waterfront areas. These CNPs not only upgrade port functions for decarbonization but also enhance the environment for adopting hydrogen and other clean alternative fuels.

This pioneering demonstration project sets the stage for the conversion of RTGs’ diesel engine generators to hydrogen engine generators. As the participating companies actively engage in this conversion process, the ultimate goal is to realize a carbon-neutral port at the Port of Hanshin.

Commissioned Parties:

  • Kobe-Osaka International Port
  • Container Terminal Operators: Mitsui O.S.K. Lines and Shosen Koun
  • RTG Crane Manufacturer: MITSUI E&S
  • Hydrogen Engine Manufacturer: i Labo
  • Hydrogen Supplier: Iwatani
  • Energy-Related Consultant: Universal Energy

Demonstration Project Details:

  • Commissioned Name: Commissioned work for a demonstration project for advanced cargo handling machinery at the Port of Hanshin
  • Consignor: Kinki Regional Development Bureau, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism
  • Consignee Location: 9, Minatojima, Chuo-ku, Kobe Port Island (Phase 2) District PC15-17

Overall Implementation Schedule (Tentative)

  • FY2022 – FY2023: Planning of implementation plan (desk review)
  • FY2023 – FY2024: RTG conversion and trial operation (preparation for field demonstration started)
  • FY2025: On-site verification (data acquisition), analysis, etc.
  • FY2025 – FY2026: Revision of technical standards, etc.

This initiative, fueled by the commitment of industry leaders, stands as a testament to the maritime sector’s dedication to environmentally responsible practices, propelling the industry towards a greener and more sustainable future.

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