Stena Line has unveiled ambitious plans to start operating two fossil-free battery powered vessels ‘no later than 2030’.
The vessels will operate between Gothenburg and Frederikshavn in Denmark, the ferry company’s CEO Niclas Mårtensson said on Thursday (4 February).
In an effort to speed up the transition to fossil-free fuels in the transport sector, Stena Line, Volvo Group, Scania and the Port of Gothenburg have teamed up on the Tranzero Initiative collaboration project to cut emissions by 70% by 2030 in the Port of Gothenburg.
‘We now move from vision to vessel with the battery powered vessel Stena Elektra. Within a year we will present the outline specifications and at the latest by 2025 we plan to order the first vessel,’ said Mårtensson. ‘This will be a huge step towards fossil free shipping.’
Stena Line says the 200-metre-long Stena Elektra will be the world’s first fossil free Ro-Pax of its size. The vessel will be built in high tensile steel to lower the weight and increase efficiency and it is estimated the vessel will run on battery power for approximately 50 nautical miles, the distance between Gothenburg and Frederikshavn. The battery capacity will need to be approximately 60-70 MWh and the vessel will be charged in port.
Stena Line is also looking into combining the electrification with other alternative fossil free fuels such as fuel cells, hydrogen and bio methanol to extend the reach of the vessels.
‘The electrification of shipping has only just begun,’ said Mårtensson. ‘We see a great potential for both battery hybrids and battery powered vessels on several of our short-sea shipping routes in the future. But it takes more than the electrical ships, we also need to develop the infrastructure and charging possibilities in the ports and terminals in the same pace and that is a reason why collaboration projects like this are so important.’
Stena Line has been operating the battery hybrid vessel Stena Jutlandica on the Gothenburg-Frederikshavn route. The vessel uses battery power for maneuvering and powering the bow thrusters when the ship is in port. The batteries are charged with green shore power in port of Gothenburg as well as during operation.