Drydocks world targets small vessels for hybrid-battery retrofits to help cut marine emissions

Drydocks world targets small vessels for hybrid-battery retrofits to help cut marine emissions

Date: 08/12/2023

Dubai (UAE), 8 December 2023: Drydocks World, (a DP World company) has launched a new scheme to retrofit hybrid-battery packages for small vessels, helping to reduce carbon emissions from the marine services sector.

Working with technology partners and a specialist engineering team, Drydocks World is currently retrofitting one of its own harbour tugs with a new generation of battery technology which will give it enhanced capacity. Once complete, Drydocks World will explore opportunities to retrofit external client vessels, such as yachts and leisure craft, leveraging its shipbuilding and fabrication infrastructure at Mina Rashid in Dubai. 

Once modified, these smaller craft will help to reduce fuel costs and operating expenses, while also increasing vessel reliability. When coupled with renewable energy from shore power, this can help to reduce emissions even further. Battery retrofit modification has been traditionally limited to larger vessels so Drydocks World’s new small vessel-focused scheme is a breakthrough for the maritime industry.

As part of its Greenhouse Gas Strategy, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) introduced its 2023 regulations earlier this year to reduce carbon emissions from international shipping by 40% by 2030 and 70% by 2050 compared to 2008 levels for both commercial and non-commercial vessels. Drydocks World’s new retrofit hybrid-battery scheme is an important step in supporting the IMO’s regulations and will eventually support a growing global market for retrofitting services.

Capt. Rado Antolovic, PhD, CEO, Drydocks World, said: “Drydocks World understands the importance of reducing vessel emissions in line with the IMO. The marginal gains from retrofitting battery packages on smaller maritime vessels are essential to decarbonising the marine industry globally. Our hybrid-battery retrofit scheme is a direct way to cut emissions, especially for maintenance vessels who perform daily short routes.” 

This latest initiative is part of Drydocks World's ongoing commitment to sustainable maritime operations. Earlier this year, DEWA issued more than 200,000 International Renewable Energy Certificates (I-RECs) to DP World which include substantial energy use at Drydocks World’s operations in Dubai. I-RECS guarantee that the electricity consumed is generated from renewable sources.

Additionally, Drydocks World is exploring alternative fuels for vessel operation and has been instrumental in building High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) and High Voltage Alternating Current (HVAC) platforms for renewable wind energy companies around the world, creating a crucial link between offshore platforms and land-based end-users. This work extends to maintaining offshore wind renewable platforms, further emphasising Drydocks World’s role in fostering sustainable energy sources.