World's first-ever all-electric tanker to begin ship-refueling operations

With a sailing range of around 100 kms and top speed of 10 knots, the Asahi electric tanker is ready to cruise past conventional waves of mobility on
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A zero-emission electric-powered tanker Asahi, equipped with lithium-ion battery and operated by Asahi Tanker, is seen moored at the port in Kawasaki, near Tokyo. (REUTERS)
A zero-emission electric-powered tanker Asahi, equipped with lithium-ion battery and operated by Asahi Tanker, is seen moored at the port in Kawasaki, near Tokyo.

In a world fast moving towards electric mobility, the dominance of land machines powered by battery is overwhelming. But the shift is also slowly making its way into the high seas with Japan's Asahi Tanker recently confirming that its electric tanker is all set for ship-refuelling operations from later this month. The 62-metre-long tanker is powered by high-capacity lithium-ion batteries that help it have a sailing range of around 100 kms.

The electric tanker taking to the high seas may be a small step towards electrification of mobility options on water but it is extremely significant. Asahi Tanker is looking at helping Japan reduce its carbon emissions, esepcially as the country is the world's fifth-largest CO2 emitter but also one with the stated objective of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

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The electric tanker, therefore, could well be just the start of more such options to come. Capable of sailing at speeds up to 10 knots, the construction of the tanker was completed last month and it has a cargo capacity of 1,000 kilolitres of marine oil. It is, obviously, expensive to build and costs around $9.6 million vis-a-vis $6 million for a tanker of its kind but with conventional source of energy.

The plan foe now is for it to carry marine fuel from refineries to other tankers or ships in the Tokyo Bay area at least once a day. And Asahi Tanker is banking on gaining larger acceptance for clean energy solutions to eventually help it recover its building costs.

(With inputs from Reuters)

First Published Date: 14 Apr 2022, 15:36 PM IST
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