Ningbo Ocean Shipping (Nbosco) has inked an order for two battery-powered container feeder vessels.

The Shanghai-listed company’s two 740-teu ships are to be built by Jiangxi Jiangxin Shipbuilding.

They will operate in the Chinese container coastal trades with power from 10 containerised lithium batteries, according to Xinde Marine News.

Delivery is scheduled for late 2026 and early 2027, although the price is not known.

Jiangxi Jiangxin, formerly known as Tongfang Jiangxin, is listed by Alphaliner as a state-owned enterprise located in Jiangxi Province, some 800 km upstream along the Yangtze River.

The ships will be built to a design by the Shanghai Merchant Ship Design & Research Institute and will be classed by China Classification Society.

The Nbosco vessels are among the largest in a series of electric-powered container ships ordered by Chinese companies.

Last year, Cosco Shipping Development took delivery of two similar-size 700-teu electric container ships built by Cosco Shipping Heavy Industry (Yangzhou).

These are designed as river vessels and will operate in the Yangtze region.

Otherwise, most small electric-powered container vessels built to date have been experimental, says Alphaliner.

These include Shandong Port Shipping’s 300-teu Zhi Fei (built 2021) designed to shuttle between Qingdao and Dongjiakou, and the 120-teu Yara Birkeland (built 2021), which connects Yara’s production plant at Portsgrunn, Norway, to the nearby port of Brevik.

Shanghai-listed Nbosco is, however, building up its fleet for coastal services.

Nbosco, a subsidiary of Port of Ningbo-Zhoushan presently operates a fleet of 82 ships, including bulkers and multipurpose ships.

The company is listed with orders for 14 container and MPP vessels under construction in China, ranging in capacity from 700 teu to 1,400-teu vessels.

Most of its boxships are traded domestically but an increasing number of its larger designs trade between China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.

Nbosco last year reported to have ordered four 1,058-teu vessels at Taizhou Jianxing Shipyard for delivery by the end of 2025.

The company is slated to take delivery in September of a third in a series of 1,438-teu ships under construction at China’s Penglai Zhongbai Jinglu Shipyard.