China launches World’s largest electric ship
The Yangtze River Three Gorges No. 1, the world's largest electric passenger liner, was launched in the Yichang City District, central China's Hubei Province. The ship, which is 100 metres long and 16.3 metres wide, can carry up to 1,000 passengers, as the Bloomberg report says.

The developers of the liner with the total cost of 150 million yuan ($23.5 million) are China Yangtze Power, one of China’s largest hydropower companies, and the Hubei Three Gorges tourism group. The project was also implemented with the participation of China Shipbuilding Industry Corp and Beijing University of Technology. The Ministry of Transportation and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of the People’s Republic of China bore the brunt of investment.

The vessel is equipped with fifteen batteries that can store the total of 7.5 megawatt-hours of electricity. According to the developers’ estimates, this should be enough for covering 100 km without recharging. the ship will be recharged with electricity between voyages from the world’s largest hydropower plant Three Gorges, a dam hydropower plant with the installed capacity of 22.5 gigawatts (GW), located on the Yangtze River. The ship will later be used to serve Chinese tourist routes, including the one between the Three Gorges dam and the Gezhouba dam also located in the Hubei Province.

Operation of an electric cruise liner will contribute to decarbonisation of the marine water transport, which accounts for 11% of CO2 emissions of the entire transport sector (compared to 75% and 13% of automobile and air transport, and 1% of all other types, according to McKinsey data). Earlier, the same goal was promoted by growing popularity of solar-powered shipping. The first boat equipped with solar panels to cross the English Channel in the late 1990s was the SB Collinda, a six-metre long catamaran with the generators with the total capacity of 1.4 kilowatts (kW) on board. The total number of solar-powered ships worldwide has now exceeded twenty units.

Shipping companies are also reducing their carbon footprint through the use of emission capture systems, which include the development of the Value Maritime, the Netherlands, consisting of a gas scrubber and a portable tank for CO2 injection, storage and transport. The innovation designed for small and medium-sized ships has already been used by many Dutch carriers, including Wijnne Barend, JR Shipbuilding and Boomsma Shipping.


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April 2022