e5 Lab, a joint venture set up by Asahi Tanker with Exeno Yamamizu, MOL and Mitsubishi, has launched a project for the development of Roboship, an electrically powered vessels to realise zero emissions featuring an integrated system called the Roboship Box which brings together telecommunications, the Internet of Things, and software.
Through the initiative, e5 Lab is working to address critical issues facing Japan’s shipping industry including a shortage of seafarers, environmental concerns, safety, and the sustainable growth of the shipbuilding/ship machinery sectors.
The development project team targets the commercialisation of electric-powered merchant vessels that adopt world-class propulsion systems at the most competitive price in the global market.
The team has developed two types of electric vessels in the first version of Roboship, with standard gross tonnage of 499 tons and 749 tons respectively.
“The Roboship Ver. 1.0 can significantly reduce not only the workload of seafarers, but also lower the risk of mechanical problems and decrease maintenance costs, because the motors are powered only by electricity. The team’s current target is to keep construction costs less than 5% above the cost of comparable existing vessels,” the company said in a release.
The first ship is slated for delivery within 2022.