The first battery-powered tanker was launched in Japan on December 22. The ship is powered by a large-capacity lithium-ion battery and will operate as a bunker vessel in Tokyo Bay for the Asahi Tanker Company.
he tanker will be powered by lithium-ion batteries with a capacity of 3,480kWh. Kawasaki Heavy Industries manufactured the battery system that will power two 300kw azimuth thrusters and two 68kw side thrusters.
The tanker will also have an operating speed of about 10 knots and a range of approximately 100 miles. It will require about 10 hours to fully recharge the batteries.
Asahi Tanker announced in October 2020 that it plans to build two battery-powered electric tankers. Each vessel will feature 203 feet in length and have a 34-foot beam.
Each vessel will also have a capacity of 1,280 m3 supplying heavy oil to ocean going vessels in Tokyo Bay.
The first of the two ships was named Asahi during the ceremonies at the KOA Sangyo shipyard, and will be delivered in March 2022. The second vessel will be built by Imura Shipbuilding and is planned to be delivered in March 2023.
According to Asahi Tanker, by electrifying the internal combustion engine it will not only eliminate exhaust emissions but will also improve the working environment aboard the ship.
Furthermore, it will eliminate vibration and noise as well as reduce the maintenance requirements. What is more, adoption of automated equipment and digital tools including the Internet of Things (IoT) will also reduce the crews’ onboard workload and increase the ship’s operating efficiency.