The world’s first maritime electric-tanker to offer clean energy transport

PowerX's first vessel will have 96 containerized marine batteries, providing a total capacity of 241MWh.
Jijo Malayil
PowerX's Battery Tanker “X”
PowerX's Battery Tanker “X”


Japanese-based clean energy startup PowerX is offering a maritime solution to transport clean energy from places abundant in renewable resources to places deficient in green energy sources. To enable such transport, a detailed design of the first-ever 'Battery Tanker,' christened ship X was released by the firm, aiming for completion by 2025. 

The firm believes that such Battery Tankers can store and transport excess electricity produced from renewable sources. "Decommissioned or idle thermal power plants located near ports can be retrofitted into charge/discharge points for the Battery Tankers, where the power is transmitted to users via grid connections on the land, enabling further effective use of renewable energy," said a statement from PowerX.

The need for such transport solutions is warranted as areas with high potential for renewable energy generation are often far from urban areas and other regions with high power demand. This requires infrastructure concerning energy transmission. "Given the current energy density of lithium-ion battery cells, the Battery Tanker is an optimal solution for short-distance maritime power transmission from land to land, complementing existing inter-regional grid transmission lines." 

A safe and modular design

The dimensions of the electric-powered vessel stand at 459 feet (140 meters) in length and will be equipped with 96 containerized marine batteries, providing a total capacity of 241MWh. The ship offers a cruising range of up to 186 miles (300 kilometers). 

The onboard battery system is based on PowerX's proprietary module design with tried and tested lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery cells that ensure a lifespan of over 6,000 cycles. Furthermore, the battery system is expandable, enabling the addition of extra batteries to build bigger electric transport vessels to fulfill various requirements. To assure safety, the system has special gas emission control and fire suppression components. Real-time monitoring of the battery system, charging controllers, and power conversion systems further enhance safety precautions.

According to PowerX, all batteries will be produced in-house at this manufacturing facility in Japan. These batteries are expected to receive international ship classification certifications and applicable standards like DNV and Class NK, undergoing rigorous testing to fulfill the tightest requirements. The batteries will start to be delivered by the middle of 2024.

Possibility of power grids across the oceans 

The firm hopes that Battery Tankers can be used to establish new power transmission networks across the seas, promoting the storage, supply, and utilization of renewable energy. "As the energy density of batteries improves and their cost decreases, it is expected that longer-distance maritime transmission from offshore wind power plants to the land will become feasible."

Battery Tankers provide an efficient alternative, particularly in Japan, which is prone to earthquakes and has deep-water surroundings. According to PowerX, its solution will make it possible to establish offshore wind farms in regions where laying underwater cables previously presented difficulties. Battery Tankers may be used to transmit marine electricity, which can answer a number of offshore wind energy-related issues not just for Japan but also for the global adoption of renewable energy.

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