As the number of electric hybrid ships grows at pace, battery giant CATL has shown interest in Chinese compatriot Wuhu Shipyard, says an article published on Splash.
Port Zone Wending Investment
The world’s top electric car battery maker has picked up a 2.48% stake in the largest shipbuilding enterprise in Anhui province through its subsidiary, Ningbo Meishan Bonded Port Zone Wending Investment.
CATL’s unit became one of seven companies that snapped up Chery’s stake in the shipbuilder after the Chinese carmaker decided to exit the business. Wending Investment, which also has interests in Chery, took the smallest stake and stands as Wuhu’s ninth-largest shareholder.
China’s first traction battery company
Although CATL’s plans with Wuhu remain unclear, considering the minority shareholding, the company established a business last November to develop batteries for ships, a move that would allow it to capitalise on China’s push to electrify shipping.
The Ningde, Fujian-based battery supplier with a nearly 40% market share started researching this technology for ships in 2017 and, in April 2020, became China’s first traction battery company to be certified and approved in accordance with the “Guidelines for the Test of Battery Electric Ships”, the latest test guidelines issued by the China Classification Society.
Newbuilds sporting this green option
Wuhu Shipyard, formerly known as Fujiheng Machinery Plant, was set up in 1900. The yard now has nine shareholders and the biggest one is Wuhu Yuanda Venture Capital, which holds around 29% equity.
Ships fitted with battery setups have already surpassed the 1,000 mark, according to class society DNV and the Maritime Battery Forum, which show over 750 existing units and nearly 240 newbuilds sporting this green option.
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