Photo: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries

Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Unveils Hybrid Electric Coastal Tanker Design

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 2193
December 15, 2021

Tokyo-based firm e5 Lab Inc. and Mitsubishi Shipbuilding, part of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, have teamed up to design a hybrid electric propulsion biomass fuel carrier being built by Honda Heavy Industries for Asahi Tankers.

The companies say the design has the potential to reduce CO2 emissions in the “coastal” sector while lessening the workload for crews.

Known as “Roboship”, the design will feature a hybrid electrical propulsion system that includes large-capacity storage batteries and generators that will allow CO2-free operations during port operations, such as loading and unloading, docking and undocking, and entering or leaving port.. It will also feature Mitsubishi Shipbuilding’s high-performance twin-skeg design, requiring 20% less power and reducing associated CO2 emissions compared to conventional vessels.

The generators will be capable of switching between eco-friendly fuels including liquefied natural gas (LNG), hydrogen, ammonia, biofuel, and synthetic fuel for potential CO2-free operations. Other benefits include reduced noise and vibration, less maintenance, and improved steering.

Although the Roboship design will be suitable for ships up to 749 tons, the vessel for Asahi Tankers will come in at 499 tons and is planned for delivery from Honda Heavy Industries in April 2023, at which point it will operate as a biomass carrier for Aioi Bioenergy Corporation.

Unfortunately, the tiger-style paint job is only conceptual and actual colors are yet to be determined.

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