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Royal Bodewes delivers world’s first hybrid self-discharger

Shipping is on the eve of an energy transition. The goal is clear: to move from fossil fuels to zero carbon energy sources and technologies. The ways in which this goal can be achieved, vary. Royal Bodewes is proudly joining this transition by delivering the world’s first newly built hybrid self-discharger: MV Aasfjell. And if it is up to the shipping company, that is just the beginning.

On 15 December 2021 MV Aasfjell, a 9400 DWAT general cargo ship built for Norwegian Shipping Company Aasen Shipping, successfully completed her sea trials. The vessel was delivered on 22 December. Unique to MV Aasfjell is, that it is hybrid: next to the MGO main engine, she has an electric motor and tons of batteries, allowing her to sail emission-free.

Battery pack for peak shaving
The battery pack has another advantage; it will be used for peak shaving during sea voyages. Whenever the engine needs more power in heavy seas, the batteries will boost the propeller and whenever an overload of energy on the main engine is measured, the batteries will absorb the energy. This way, the engine is more stable and more fuel efficient. It also has a positive impact on emissions.

Emission-free use of electric excavator
But that’s not all that has been gained. The ship is equipped with a battery pack of 535 kWh for emission-free use of the electric excavator for loading and unloading. Once in port, all engines can be turned off. Only batteries are used then, or the vessel’s excavator is running on her large shore-connection.

Fuel-efficient sailing
Off course, electrification is one way to contribute to future-proof water transport. But Royal Bodewes looks beyond that. There are many ways to contribute to sustainable shipping and the shipyard is not putting all its eggs in one basket. Sailing on different types of fuel/sustainable energy sources, like methanol or hydrogen, reducing energy use overall. There is plenty to gain. For now, Bodewes is off to a good start.

What will the future bring?
It won’t be too long before there will be a follow-up. At the moment, Royal Bodewes is building another hybrid self-discharger: NB 769, a sister vessel of MV Aasfjell. Furthermore, another series of 5000 dwt vessels with excavator and a hybrid system are under construction, all to be delivered in 2022.