Jul 21, 2022 | Marine environment & clean shipping news

US battery company Alsym Energy has formed a partnership with Singapore-based ship manager Synergy Marine and Japanese shipping company Nissen Kaiun, to jointly develop applications specific to the marine shipping industry using Alsym’s next-generation high-capacity, low-cost battery technology.

With greenhouse gases from ships predicted to rise to 17% of total global emissions by 2050 if the industry does not accelerate efforts to electrify, efforts are ramping up to cut carbon emissions from ships, with battery-hybrid installations expected to make a major contribution. The problem is particularly sever in ports, where operations can generate substantial amounts of air pollution and some ports banning the use of ships’ diesel generators while docked.

Alsym is to provide Synergy and Nissen Kaiun with 1GW of batteries per year for three years starting in the company’s first year of high-volume production, conditional on the battery systems meeting key performance levels and regulatory requirements specific to cargo ships and tankers. Alsym’s batteries may be used to propel cargo ships and tankers as they enter and leave port, power berthed ships, and support peak shaving applications at sea. The company plans to start pilot manufacturing its non-flammable batteries later this year at its facility in Massachusetts, with high-volume production expected to follow in 2025.

Capt Rajesh Unni, Founder and CEO of Synergy Marine Group, said: “Zero-emission vessels are the future of maritime shipping, and we’re working with like-minded owners, including Nissen Kaiun, to decarbonise every part of the ecosystem as quickly as possible. By lowering the cost of electrification and minimising the risk of battery-related fire events, Alsym’s technology is well-placed to be a safer alternative that can help the shipping industry meet its goal of zero net emissions by 2050—especially in light of the European Commission’s recent proposal to classify lithium as toxic.”

By using low-cost, inherently non-flammable raw materials with robust global supply chains, Alsym aims to provide batteries at a fraction of the cost of lithium-based technologies, making electrification both safe and economically viable. These batteries can help reduce risks to crew and cargo, as well as lower insurance costs for fleet managers and shippers.

Mukesh Chatter, President and CEO, Alsym Energy, said: “Synergy Marine is on the cutting edge of technology in the maritime sector, and we’re honoured to be part of their journey to work with owners in their transition away from fossil fuels. By manufacturing batteries from low-cost, readily available materials that are inherently non-flammable and non-toxic, we’re providing an economically-viable way to help them decarbonise while also lowering operating expenditures and insurance costs associated with lithium and cobalt-based battery technologies.”

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