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Japan’s Asahi Bunker – Worlds First All- Electric Bunker Tanker

Japan’s Asahi Bunker – Worlds First All- Electric Bunker Tanker

The Asahi Bunker, native to Japan, is the world’s first fully-electric and zero-emission bunker tanker. The Asahi Bunker took her maiden voyage on Tuesday 26 April 2022, from Chiba to Tokohoma, entering into service as a fuel bunkering tanker in Tokyo Bay.

The Asahi Bunker is a 62-metre-long next-generation tanker, fitted with a 3,480-kWh Orca ESS lithium-Ion battery produced by Corvus Energy. The vessel was designed by a team of experts from 7 different Japanese shipping and maritime companies including Asahi Tanker Co, collectively known as the e5 Lab initiative.

Classified as a ClassNK ship, she is capable of speeds up to 10 knots, with two 300kw azimuth thrusters and two 68kw side thrusters, and can go about 100 km on a full 10-hour charge.

“The vessel’s core energy system is completely electrified to achieve zero emissions of CO2, nitrogen oxide (NOx) and sulphur oxide (SOx),” says Makoto Sawada, team leader of the EV project at Asahi Tanker.

The Asahi Bunker has a cargo-carrying capacity of 1,280 cbm with a gross tonnage of 299 tonnes.

Through the day, she transports marine fuel from refineries to ships in Tokyo Bay, and charges overnight at a special charging station. The charging station, located in Kawasaki’s Industrial Zone, is operated by a Tokyo Electric Power unit.

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The Asahi Bunker is the first of two such zero-emission EV bunkers ordered by Japanese shipping company Asahi Tanker. Each electric tanker costs about 1.2 billion yen, or USD 9.6 million. This is roughly twice as expensive as the construction costs for a conventional fuel bunker tanker, however, the positive impact on the environment of switching to EV ships is beyond comparison.

Rubaa Ali
Author: Rubaa Ali

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