Innovative UAE Electric Bunker Vessel will Operate Without Airborne Exhaust

electric bunker vessel
Electric bunker vessel will operate without an airborne exhaust (Tristar)

Published Dec 12, 2023 6:21 PM by The Maritime Executive


Saying that it is a first step toward a feasible decarbonization, UAE-based Tristar Group has ordered a new bunker vessel with an innovative, hybrid design. Powered by a rechargeable battery power system, the vessel will operate without airborne emissions even when it is on its backup diesel generators.

Tristar, which is a fuel logistics operation based in Dubai, ordered the new vessel from the Akdeniz Shipyard in Adana, the largest shipyard in Turkey. They expect to commission the vessel in the first quarter of 2025 as a pioneering example in decarbonization.

According to the company, the electric vessel uses batters (details on the size of the batteries were not provided), and as such its primary operations will be without emissions. They are eliminating the necessary funnel and the space saved on deck will house what they termed a “sizeable on-board battery.”

The vessel will have diesel generators for backup. However, when using the backup generators, the flue gases will instead be discharged underwater. According to the company, this is another element of the design used to reduce GHG emissions.

Tristar highlights that the design and powertrain will lower carbon emissions significantly, especially when compared to conventional diesel propulsion. “With well-planned operations, it is expected that carbon emissions will be reduced by more than 50 percent,” the company writes announcing the construction order.

“As port infrastructure continues to develop in support of using electric barges for coastal operations, we are optimistic this bold move will encourage the local maritime industry to follow suit,” said Eugene Mayne, CEO of Tristar Group. “We are creating another opportunity to pioneer green technology in an environment that has been familiar and fruitful for us, for many years.”

The vessel will have a capacity of 750 cubic meters and will be positioned at the Port of Fujairah, the multi-purpose maritime facility on the east coast of the UAE. The barge will also provide stores and supplies to vessels stopping at anchorage off Fujairah Port.