Ship boat

Passenger ship installed with mobile power supply system launched in South Korea

[Courtesy of Mokpo City]

SEOUL — A 420-ton electric-powered passenger ship capable of carrying cars and cargo together has made its debut in South Korea. It is the first eco-friendly ship in the country equipped with a vehicle-type mobile battery system to maximize power supply efficiency. It is not necessary to install high voltage charging facilities in the ports.

The ship was launched in a ceremony on March 4 in the southwestern port city of Mokpo, which was selected for a five-year government project that began in 2020 to develop electric-powered vessels with the Korea Institute for Ships and Ocean Research, publicly funded. Engineering (KRISO), private companies, research institutes and university teams.

The technological stability of the electric-powered vessel will be ensured through more than a year of trial-and-error operation, the Mokpo city government said in a statement. The ship, which is 49 meters long and can carry 125 passengers and 20 vehicles, is to operate on coastal shipping routes between Mokpo and nearby islands.

KRISO adopted the vehicle-type mobile battery system to cope with South Korea’s complicated coastal environment. Detailed information such as the structure of the ship’s power system has not been disclosed. Normally, electric propulsion is used in small vessels, but shipping companies are adopting the system for larger vessels to comply with stricter greenhouse gas regulations.

KRISO aims to develop ammonia-based dual fuel technology for ships. In January 2021, the institute’s hybrid electric car ferry obtained approval in principle from an Italian classification society. It is equipped with an electric propulsion battery which generates 6,000 KW of power and can carry more than 800 passengers and 300 containers.

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