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JAPAN UNVEILS FIRST PURE-ELECTRIC TANKER CONCEPT

Wednesday, January 30, 2019 

Asahi Tanker Co, together with partner Exeno-Yamamizu Corporation Tokyo, has jointly developed a new domestic shipping tanker design which incorporates zero emission electric propulsion.

In anticipation of future adaptations to regulatory conformity ClassNK has been appointed to provide technical advice on ship design and electric propulsion. Concept hull design has been undertaken by Dutch company Groot Ship Design.

The new vessel design and related project infrastructure development will be known as “e5” which captures the five core elements of;

  1. Electrification: The ships core energy source will be electricity, achieved by way of adopting lithium ion batteries.
  2. Environment: Emission controls such as CO2, NOx, SOx together with minimising noise and vibration along with improvements in vessel operation environmental controls at sea and in port.
  3. Economics: Achieving economic efficiency through installment of IoT and digital tools coupled with improved propulsion performance from using electricity.
  4. Efficiency: Simple hull construction and installation of automated equipment can reduce work load for the crew.
  5. Evolution: Digitalisation and technological advancement leading to the most advanced design concept for the future of domestic shipping.

Commercial model development of the 'e5' design - a bunker supply vessel to trade in Tokyo Bay - is now in progress, with a target date for launch of the first vessel set for the fourth quarter of 2020. The project is also working to develop 'e5' coastal vessels, which would require extended cruising range.

The first concept vessel is 60m length oa, 10.3m wide, and will be powered by two azimuth thrusters of 350kW each plus a 130kW bow thruster. With tank capacity of about 1300m3, the ship will come in at fractionally under 500gt tonnage.

The 'e5' concept is said to provide solutions to issues such as shortage of crews, vessel demand balance and environmental regulations, thus contributing to the sustainability of the domestic shipping industry. The project leaders are confident that the 'e5' concept can be applied to ocean transport, helping to provide stable energy supply thus enriching the environment and adding value for clients.

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