Thomas Koniordos, CEO, Yara Marine Technologies

Jan 19, 2021

Thomas Koniordos, CEO, Yara Marine Technologies

We thought that our Boating Industry Canada News Week Digest readers would find this interesting because the story deals with promising new battery technology called “aluminum-air batteries”. In this case it applies to commercial shipping, but there could be future applications for smaller vessels.

As Yara Marine Technologies expands into new green technology for the maritime industry, their accelerator program for start-ups lets them tap into the frontiers of green marine technologies.

Yara Marine Technologies started the Yara Marine X program earlier this year. Now, after months of search, they finally found a winner amongst the many applicants.

“Phoenician Energy’s use of aluminum-air battery technology for the maritime industry, triggered our scientists’ curiosity. Their container battery is especially interesting. The concept taps into several recent trends and developments, such as circular economy and electrification of marine vessels. We believe this technology may have an important role to play in a greener maritime industry for future generations,” Thomas Koniordos, CEO of Yara Marine Technologies, says.

The global IMO 2030 and 2050 targets, the EU taking shipping into ETS and the UK including shipping into its net-zero target, all push for substantial reductions in GHG emissions. In addition, several ports are introducing restrictions on local emissions. The amount of all these regulations, and several other trends, move towards a substantial electrification of the maritime sector.

Phoenician Energy licenses aluminum-air battery technology and adapts it to marine applications. The company has developed a 4,8 MWh system enclosed in a 20-foot shipping container.

“Al–air batteries have one of the highest energy densities of all batteries, with more than four times the capacity of the conventional lithium-ion battery. Higher density means that longer ranges can be achieved, and a smaller footprint means more space for revenue producing cargo. In addition, we do not recharge our system onboard, instead we replace it with a fully charged one, eliminating downtime that would be required for recharging conventional batteries. The consumed battery is then reequipped with new aluminum and it is ready to go another turn. Furthermore, Aluminum-air batteries do not lose capacity when not in use nor do they degrade over time. They are also inherently safe, with no danger of temperature runaway” Udi Erell, Founder and President at Phoenician Energy says.

Jesper Hellström, Yara Marine’s Head of Research and Development, explains, “Charging an Al-air battery actually happens at an aluminum production plant. You may say that the battery consumes aluminum, the most abundant metal in the Earth’s crust. Furthermore, the alumina generated from the aluminum in the battery, as it depletes, is a valued commodity. The alumina can be recycled back to aluminum at the aluminum plant, but it also has uses in other industries. Together with Yara Marine Technologies, Phoenician Energy will move into its next phase.”

“We are excited to partner with a major player like Yara Marine Technologies. We hope to tap into their experience with engineering and procurement and their know-how on production and installation. This is a big step for us. Hence, our excitement for Yara Marine Technologies’ experience and this opportunity”, Erell adds.

In less than a month, Phoenician Energy will be the first start-up to enter the Yara Marine X’ six-month program, after which Yara Marine Technologies may choose to invest in the company and its technology.

Yara Marine Technologies provides technologies to enable a greener maritime industry.

Ever since the beginning in 2010, Yara Marine Technologies has been a frontrunner in the emission reduction technology industry. The company soon developed into one of the world’s largest providers of high-quality scrubber systems, with more than 400 systems installed.

Today, we provide a portfolio of green technologies. We work as yards’ and ship-owners’ partner to reduce and eliminate ship emissions. Partners who share our vision of a healthy planet for future generations. 

Yara Marine Technologies has offices in Sweden, China, Singapore and HQ in Oslo, Norway.

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