World First Fully-Electric Cargo Ship
China has launched the fully electric cargo ship which can travel upto 80 km in two hours. This cargo ship is the world’s first fully electric cargo ship and considered a breakthrough in technology. The world's first 2,000-metric-ton all-electric cargo ship has been launched in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province.
The ship, manufactured by the Guangzhou Shipyard International Company Ltd, represents a technological breakthrough as it is the first in the world to use lithium battery in a fully powered cargo vessel running in the inland section of the Pearl River. After being charged for two hours, the ship can run 80 kilometers, according to Guangzhou Shipyard International. The company is the mainland's first shipbuilding company listed in Shanghai and Hong Kong, and is wholly owned by CSSC Offshore & Marine Engineering (Group) Company Ltd under the China State Shipbuilding Corporation Group.
The ship, 70.5 meters in length, has battery energy of about 2,400 kilowatt hours, or about the same energy of 40 new energy cars. Its highest speed tops out at 12.8 kilometers per hour, and there is zero emission of waste gas pollutants. The fully electric-powered ship could have more capacity in cargo loading. If it is equipped with larger energy batteries, it will carry goods of more than 2,000 tons. The ship was put into test run at Longxue Island in Nansha district, which faces Hong Kong in the south. Meanwhile, the nation's first new energy electric ship industry standard was also issued. World’s largest cargo ships emit pollution comparable to millions of passenger cars put together. The heavy fuel oil that they burn has high sulfur content and therefore, it is an important part of the world’s transportation industry that needs to transition to being battery-powered.
The hypermodern $25 million ship is a joint project between the fertilizer company Yara and the maritime defense company Kongsberg Gruppen, which also excels at high-technology solutions to aerospace and offshore oil-and-gas companies. Even though the ship is three times as expensive as a regular cargo vessel of the same size, operating costs will be cut by 90 percent, as the electrically-powered ship need neither fuel nor crew. The vessel has been designed at Norwegian design and engineering company Marin Teknikk. A cutting edge six meter long and 2.4 tons model of the final design using technology destined for the real ship, including a fully working thruster system from KONGSBERG, will now undergo comprehensive testing at SINTEF Ocean before construction of the full-scale vessel starts. The decision of where the vessel is to be built will be decided and disclosed by the end of 2017. This vessel is important for the entire maritime industry, and Yara deserves praise for their initiative and commitment. Yara Birkeland is the start of a major contribution to fulfilling national and international environmental impact goals, and will be a global milestone for seaborne transportation.
Apart from the Yara Birkeland, Norway is betting on unmanned vessels and is investing significantly in autonomous ships. The very same Kongsberg is involved in a number of projects that include a prototype autonomous utility ship and an unmanned oil rig support ship, together with Automated Ships Ltd (ASL) and the offshore oil rig company Bourbon Offshore.