Japanese consortium e5 Lab Inc has chosen an ABB power system for its world-first hybrid electric biomass fuel carriers.

The design, named Roboship, has been developed for fully electric operation in port as the Japanese shipping industry strives for net-zero GHG emissions from shipping by 2050.

IHI Power Systems chose ABB to provide a system composed of electric propulsion hardware, DSC switchboards, energy storage batteries, generators and a remote diagnostic system. ABB said its systems will allow the vessel to draw on multiple energy sources, making the vessel more efficient and future-proof as well as reducing noise and vibrations.

The 70-meter, 499 gross ton biomass fuel carrier will be built by Honda Heavy Industries.

e5 Lab is a consortium comprising Asahi Tanker Co., Exeno Yamamizu Corporation, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, and Mitsubishi Corporation; its purpose is the development of renewably powered commercial ships.

Mr. Yasumasa Suetsugu, Chief Technology Officer, e5 Lab, said: “The high digital compatibility will help reduce both operations and maintenance costs. Our goal is to make a significant contribution to resolving the environmental challenges and reducing crew workload which face coastal shipping in Japan.”

Juha Koskela, Division President, ABB Marine & Ports, said: “Electric-powered ships are key to the shipping industry’s sustainable future – and we take pride in providing our customers with highly efficient electric propulsion solutions that are compliant with today’s regulations and allow integrating with emissions-free energy sources in the future.”

Source: Seatrade Maritime News