Japanese firms to build electric tankers

NHK -- Oct 09
Three Japanese firms are teaming up to build fully electric tankers with no carbon footprint.

The collaboration is between a pair of shipbuilders, and machinery maker Kawasaki Heavy Industries.

The shipbuilders will construct the two vessels, each 60 meters long and weighing 499 tons.

Kawasaki will supply the lithium-ion batteries to run them.

The tankers are due for completion in March 2022.

They'll cost more to build than conventional heavy-fuel vessels, but require less manpower to run, a major advantage for an industry struggling with a labor shortage.

Asahi Tanker, which ordered the vessels, says they'll be the world's first fully electric tankers.

The shipping company says it will use them to transport heavy oil in Tokyo Bay. The firm is also considering using them to supply electricity to coastal areas in disasters.