‘World’s first’ 700 TEU pure battery-powered containerships are here

China’s shipping company COSCO Shipping Development has taken delivery of two 700 TEU electric containerships built by COSCO Shipping Heavy Industry (Yangzhou), part of COSCO Shipping Group.


On December 28, 2023, the newbuilds N997 and N998 were named and delivered in Yangzhou. They were named COSCO Shipping Green Water 01 and COSCO SHIPPING Green Water 02, respectively.

The 10,000 dwt boxships are the first 700 TEU river-sea pure battery-powered containerships independently designed, developed, and built by Chinese companies.

The first ship was launched in July 2023, while the construction on the second 700 TEU unit began two months earlier.

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The ships can transport up to 700 TEU while operating on battery power throughout the entire voyage. They use a swappable battery technology where the batteries are housed in containers that can be switched out when the power is depleted. The ships are currently outfitted with 24 batteries each in a 20-foot container and can carry up to 36 units. The total battery capacity exceeds 50,000 kilowatt hours.

After being put into operation, it is expected that a single ship can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 2,918 tons throughout the year, which is equivalent to the annual emissions of 2,035 cars, or planting 160,000 trees per year.

Each boxship is equipped with an intelligent ship system comprising an intelligent integration platform, intelligent navigation, intelligent engine room and the intelligent monitoring of the ship’s energy efficiency.

Featuring a length of 119.8 meters, and a width of 23.6 meters, the two vessels are part of an effort to build an electrified network for shipping along China’s Yangtze River, facilitate the green transformation of the waterway and demonstrate green and zero-carbon shipping.

The first vessel recently obtained a certificate for the first battery-powered river-sea direct ship from the China Classification Society. It is expected to start operating in the Yangtze River, from Jiangsu to Shanghai, shortly. 

The project is said to align with COSCO Shipping Group’s efforts to achieve the green, low-carbon and intelligent transformation of the shipping industry, and promote green and low-carbon development.