Classification society DNV GL has announced the launch of a joint development project (JDP) designed to advance the understanding of the use of lithium-ion batteries in the shipping industry. More than a dozen partners from the entire value chain have joined the initiative, including flag states, research institutions, battery and propulsion suppliers, fire detection and extinguishing system providers, and shipowners, operators and yards. Including batteries in ships, whether as a hybrid or fully electric system, offers the industry the opportunity to improve fuel economy, reliability and operational costs, said Geir Dugstad, director of ship classification and technical director of DNV GL Maritime. For this technology to fully take hold, however, knowledge and requirements must be in place to ensure that we have products and a safety regime that address the concerns of all stakeholders while also creating the conditions for this technology to take off in the market. According to DNV GL, at the end of the JDP the partners hope to have enhanced their own understanding so as to optimise their own products and services, as well as created a set of inputs that can be taken up by the industry to not only push the development of batteries themselves, but also the associated systems, procedures and approval processes. The JDP officially started at the end of 2017 and will finish with dissemination activities in 2019. Major tasks set out by the JDP include safety model development and assessment based on prior knowledge; concerted lithium-ion battery risk assessment; a battery safety testing programme; battery safety simulation and analysis tool development and refinement; and project management, dissemination, input to requirements and rules. Project partners include the Norwegian Maritime Authority, Danish Maritime Authority, Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (Forsvarets Forskningsinstitutt, FFI), Corvus Energy, PBES, FIFI4MARINE, Nexceris, Rolls-Royce Marine, ABB, Stena, Scandlines and Damen.