Asahi Tanker Co Ltd, together with its partner Exeno-Yamamizu Corporation Tokyo, has jointly developed the new domestic shipping tanker design 'e5' which incorporates “zero emission electric propulsion”.
The aim is to replace the current fleet of bunker tankers operating in Tokyo Bay and development has reached the stage that ClassNK has been appointed to advise on the ship design and electric propulsion.
The first e5 bunker tanker is an all-electric, lithium battery design, unlike the CPC tankers, which are thought to be diesel-electric, expected to be launched by the end of 2020.
Japan faces a unique situation with its 5,000 plus domestic fleet of coastal vessels entering a point in their service lives when they will need replacing in the next decade.
Similarly, only Japanese crew are allowed to serve in the domestic fleet and the average crew age is close to 55 years old, and according to local sources there is a reluctance for Japanese youngsters to enter into the domestic merchant marine.
It is hoped the design of an all-electric, lithium battery tanker could attract the technology-oriented Japanese youth to serve in the domestic fleet.
Will all-electric tankers solve the systemic environmental issues in Asian ports? Discuss this and other tanker matters at the Asian Tanker Conference in February in Singapore.