Focus on EV battery fire in Vietnam cargo ship blaze

Focus on EV battery fire in Vietnam cargo ship blaze

Focus on EV battery fire in Vietnam cargo ship blaze 620 395 Energy Storage Journal

February 16, 2023: An EV battery fire is reportedly at the centre of a probe into the cause of a major blaze that lasted several days on a vessel off the coast of southern Vietnam, firefighters said on February 10.

The Ah Shin cargo carrier (pictured) had been en route from South Korea to Singapore and was believed to be carrying around 4,500 new and used vehicles.

Vung Tau provincial fire and rescue officials told local news agency Vietnamnet that the Vung Tau Port Authority was first alerted to the blaze on the vessel on February 4, when it was some 25 nautical miles southeast of Vung Tau.

Firefighters took nearly four days to tackle the blaze across several compartment floors of the vessel before it was deemed safe for maritime authorities to board and fully investigate the areas of the ship containing the vehicles, officials told Vietnamnet.

The vessel was eventually towed into Vung Tau port on February 7 with some of the affected areas still smouldering, port officials said.

No injuries were reported among the vessel’s reported 21 all-Russian crew.

The incident came almost a year to the date of a blaze on board the Felicity Ace in the Atlantic, which later sank with 4,000 vehicles, including EVs, worth an estimated $400 million-$500 million on board.

That incident prompted warnings that the lithium-powered so-called ‘green energy’ revolution was increasingly hazardous for shipping safety — with EV battery fires contributing to clean-up costs and causing environmental concerns.

Last month, Norwegian shipping company, Havila Kystruten, said it was banning electric cars, hybrids and hydrogen vehicles on its ferries because of a potential fire hazard. That followed a risk analysis conducted by Proactima, a Norwegian risk management advisory consultancy, according to chief executive Bent Martini.