Newbuilding may be the herald of a huge new shipping trade.
Japanese technology start-up, PowerX, has announced plans to build the world’s first power-transfer vessel. Observers believe the bold move may be the harbinger of a massive new maritime opportunity.
Headed up by Masahiro Ito, the founder of software company Yappa, PowerX aims to change the way Japan transports energy, by building a fleet of energy-transfer ships that will shuttle electrical energy from offshore wind farms to shore-based terminals in containerised grid batteries
A 100-teu trial vessel is planned for completion by 2030 and will cost an estimated $30m. Once proof of concept has been achieved, the idea is then to scale up to 1,000-teu and 3,000-teu power-transfer ships.
“Japan is over reliant on fossil fuels and we import all our energy,” he said. “We think at PowerX that there is an opportunity to change that dynamic.”
“Instead of oil, the energy ship of the future will carry electricity from clean and renewable sources,” he said.