N997, China’s first 700TEU container Ship

On 26th July 2023, N997, the world’s first 700TEU pure electric container ship, was launched in Yangzhou, Jiangsu. The ship is 119.8 metres long, 23.6 metres wide and powered by LFP batteries. According to Jiangsu government, the ship uses 36 swappable battery cargos with a total capacity of 57.6MWh. N997 will perform battery swapping along the route to reduce travel time.

N997 will be tested in preparation for commercial operation in Late September 2023). COSCO Shipping has started manufacturing its second 700TEU ship N998 on 8th May 2023.

Pure electric ships in China

China has the biggest shipbuilding industry in the world. In recent years, the industry has worked with the government to develop sustainable inland waterway transportation. In addition to N997 and N998, several 120TEU container ships have been under construction or in operation since last year. Cruise ships with capacity of 50~300 passengers are also getting electrified rapidly. On 29th September 2022, the Chinese government published “An Implementation Proposal to Accelerate Green and Smart Development of Inland Waterway Vessels”. According to the proposal, LNG and batteries are the main power technologies being considered and will be commercialized on a large scale by 2030.

In terms of battery technology for ships, the China Classification Society (CCS), a full member of the International Association of Classification Society (IACS), has issued several certifications to leading battery suppliers and provided guidance on marine batteries. Leading lithium-ion battery manufacturers such as CALB, CORNEX, and CATL have all received certificates from CCS. They are cooperating with shipbuilders to design and produce battery packs tailored to commercial ships.

About China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO Shipping)

COSCO Shipping is a Chinese state-owned multinational conglomerate with a focus on marine transportation. As of December 31, 2022, COSCO Shipping has a fleet of 1394 vessels with a total combined capacity of 113.82 million DWT. The container fleet has a total capacity of 3.02 million TEU. COSCO is ranked 115 in the latest 2023 Fortune Global 500 Companies.

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Image Source: COSCO Shipping