Chinese all-electric river cruise ship expected to break records

   January 13, 2021 ,   Cruise Industry

The subsidiary of China Shipbuilding Corporation, Wuxi Saisiyi Electric Technology, is set to deliver one of the largest all-electric ships in the world in late 2021.

The future battery-electric river cruise ship Yangtze River Three Gorges 1 with 7.5 megawatt-hours of energy storage capacity is due to be launched in July and commissioned in November 2021. 

The pilot project is sponsored by China's Ministry of Transportation and Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. CSDI-Changjiang Ship Design Institute provided the design. Battery manufacturer CATL provided 10,000 battery cells that make up the power supply of the vessel. For safety, the cells are divided into 4 separate compartments, with a backup battery system in case of emergency.

The newbuild will be operated by Yichang Transportation, offering day cruises on the Yangtze River. Yichang currently has a fleet of 5 ships and a newly-built cruise terminal. The new riverboat is expected to displace 17 tons of NOx annually and will emit no particulate matter. 

The record-holder for the most powerful all-electric ship is the container feeder Yara Birkeland, a battery-powered ship built for fertilizer manufacturer Yara, Norway. The vessel has a 7.0 megawatt-hours battery pack. 

The biggest battery-powered passenger ship in operation is the electric ferry Ellen, with a capacity of 4.3 megawatt-hours. Ellen operates on a set route connecting the ports of Fynshav and Soby, southern Denmark.