Drydocks World is doing a battery retrofit at one of its own barges. Soo, it will extend the scheme to client owned vessels, including yachts. Image Credit: Supplied

Until now, the industry’s focus had been primarily on doing so for the bigger ships.

Drydocks World is retrofitting one of its own harbour tugs with a new generation of battery technology, and one which will give it enhanced capacity. Once complete, Drydocks World plans to ‘explore opportunities’ to retrofit external client vessels, such as yachts and leisure craft. The company operates a massive ship-building and fabrication infrastructure at Mina Rashid in Dubai.

“The marginal gains from retrofitting battery packages on smaller maritime vessels are essential to decarbonising the marine industry globally,” said Capt. Rado Antolovic, Drydocks World’s CEO. “Our hybrid-battery retrofit scheme is a direct way to cut emissions, especially for maintenance vessels who perform daily short routes.”

What the marine industry aims for

The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) introduced updated regulations earlier this year to reduce carbon emissions from international shipping by 40 per cent by 2030 and 70 per cent by 2050 compared to 2008 levels. This applies to commercial and non-commercial vessels alike.


Drydocks World is exploring alternative fuels for vessel operations. It has been instrumental in building High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) and High Voltage Alternating Current (HVAC) platforms for renewable wind energy companies, thus ‘creating a crucial link between offshore platforms and land-based end-users’.

This work extends to maintaining offshore wind renewable platforms

Hybrid battery switching gains
Once modified, these smaller craft will help to reduce fuel costs and operating expenses, while also ‘increasing vessel reliability’.

Coupled with renewable energy from shore power, such a switch can help to reduce emissions further.

Battery retrofit modification has been traditionally limited to larger vessels so Drydocks World’s small new vessel-focused scheme is a breakthrough for the maritime industry.