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Swiss Almatech Partners with Japan’s Largest Maritime Platform Builder
Almatech – a Swiss company based at EPFL Innovation Park – and e5.lab Inc of Tokyo setup partnership to promote and market the revolutionary zero-emission maritime shuttle ZESST (Zero Emission Speed Shuttle) on the Japanese market.
E5.lab Inc is a Japanese joint venture consisting of Asahi Tanker, Exeno, MOL and Mitsubishi. Established in 2019, e5.lab aims to deliver ‘e-value’ in 5 areas: electrification, environment, evolution, efficiency and economics with the objectives to address and solve the key challenges that shipping and the Japanese industry in general will face in the near future.
This cooperation agreement has been signed today at EPFL Innovation Park and simultaneously at the Swiss Embassy in Tokyo linked by video conferencing.
Japan is a key market for ZESST: an archipelago of 6’850 isles, a high tech society very open to innovation, a fantastic push on hydrogen, and a trend setter for entering the Asian market. Maritime transport is one of the sectors that need to reduce GHG emissions on a global Level. Many countries, especially Japon, a maritime country surrounded by oceans on all sides, have become aware of the need to act quickly and concretely in this area for dimate protection.
As Hervé Cottard, Almatech’s cofounder and CEO explains ZESST combines several cutting edge technologies as: Hydrogen fuel cells, high density batteries, super light cabine and hull structures and retractable foils fitted with ultra-compact torpedo-like electrical motors equipped with optimized propellers. The objective is to reduce by a factor 5 the ratio energy/passenger/km.
Almatech will not produce ZESST for itself except for the Swiss market that is very small. The company will make local joint ventures wherever its future customer will be operating its Shuttle. The CEO adds “We indeed need to manufacture the shuttle on site to avoid logistic nightmares, we need local naval architect for local certification and local shipyards.” ZESST is designed today for 100 passengers but it can be derived from 5 to 400 passengers.