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Stena Line Plans to Launch Fossil Free Ships Before 2030

4th February 2021
Stena Line aims to launch a fully battery powered vessel before 2030. Stena Elektra is a lightweight battery powered vessel with capacity to run approximately 50 nautical miles on batteries only, i.e. between Gothenburg or Fredrikshaven Stena Line aims to launch a fully battery powered vessel before 2030. Stena Elektra is a lightweight battery powered vessel with capacity to run approximately 50 nautical miles on batteries only, i.e. between Gothenburg or Fredrikshaven

Ferry company Stena Line plans to start operating two fossil-free battery-powered vessels on the route between Gothenburg and Frederikshavn in Denmark no later than 2030. This was announced by Stena Lines CEO Niclas Mårtensson during a press conference about the industry collaboration project Tranzero Initiative, in Gothenburg on Thursday 4 February.

In an effort to speed up the transition to fossil-free fuels in the transport sector, Stena Line together with Volvo Group, Scania and the Port of Gothenburg have joined forces in the Tranzero Initiative collaboration project to bring about a significant reduction in carbon emissions linked to the largest port in the Scandinavia. The aim is to cut emissions by 70 per cent by 2030 in the Port of Gothenburg.

During a press conference about the Tranzero Initiative on Thursday, 4 February, Stena Line CEO Niclas Mårtensson announced the company´s plans to launch two fossil-free vessels on the Gothenburg-Frederikshavn route before 2030.

“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. This will be a huge step towards fossil-free shipping”, said Niclas Mårtensson, CEO Stena Line Group and member of the Swedish Government Electrification Commission.

Stena Elektra will be the world’s first fossil-free RoPax vessel of its size and will measure approximately 200 metres and combine a passenger capacity of 1000 with 3000 lane metres freight capacity. 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 also looking into combining the electrification with other alternative fossil free fuels such as fuel cells, hydrogen and bio methanol for longer reach of the vessels.

”The electrification of shipping has only just begun. 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 collaborations projects like this are so important, said Niclas Mårtensson, CEO Stena Line.

Battery hybrid already operating

Since 2018 Stena Line is operating the battery hybrid vessel Stena Jutlandica on the Gothenburg-Frederikshavn route, using battery power for manoeuvring 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 and in total the CO2 emissions are lowered by 1,500 tonnes per year, equal to the emissions from 600 cars per year.

Published in Stena Line, Ferry
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Ferry & Car Ferry News The ferry industry on the Irish Sea, is just like any other sector of the shipping industry, in that it is made up of a myriad of ship operators, owners, managers, charterers all contributing to providing a network of routes carried out by a variety of ships designed for different albeit similar purposes.

All this ferry activity involves conventional ferry tonnage, 'ro-pax', where the vessel's primary design is to carry more freight capacity rather than passengers. This is in some cases though, is in complete variance to the fast ferry craft where they carry many more passengers and charging a premium.

In reporting the ferry scene, we examine the constantly changing trends of this sector, as rival ferry operators are competing in an intensive environment, battling out for market share following the fallout of the economic crisis. All this has consequences some immediately felt, while at times, the effects can be drawn out over time, leading to the expense of others, through reduced competition or takeover or even face complete removal from the marketplace, as witnessed in recent years.

Arising from these challenging times, there are of course winners and losers, as exemplified in the trend to run high-speed ferry craft only during the peak-season summer months and on shorter distance routes. In addition, where fastcraft had once dominated the ferry scene, during the heady days from the mid-90's onwards, they have been replaced by recent newcomers in the form of the 'fast ferry' and with increased levels of luxury, yet seeming to form as a cost-effective alternative.

Irish Sea Ferry Routes

Irrespective of the type of vessel deployed on Irish Sea routes (between 2-9 hours), it is the ferry companies that keep the wheels of industry moving as freight vehicles literally (roll-on and roll-off) ships coupled with motoring tourists and the humble 'foot' passenger transported 363 days a year.

As such the exclusive freight-only operators provide important trading routes between Ireland and the UK, where the freight haulage customer is 'king' to generating year-round revenue to the ferry operator. However, custom built tonnage entering service in recent years has exceeded the level of capacity of the Irish Sea in certain quarters of the freight market.

A prime example of the necessity for trade in which we consumers often expect daily, though arguably question how it reached our shores, is the delivery of just in time perishable products to fill our supermarket shelves.

A visual manifestation of this is the arrival every morning and evening into our main ports, where a combination of ferries, ro-pax vessels and fast-craft all descend at the same time. In essence this a marine version to our road-based rush hour traffic going in and out along the commuter belts.

Across the Celtic Sea, the ferry scene coverage is also about those overnight direct ferry routes from Ireland connecting the north-western French ports in Brittany and Normandy.

Due to the seasonality of these routes to Europe, the ferry scene may be in the majority running between February to November, however by no means does this lessen operator competition.

Noting there have been plans over the years to run a direct Irish –Iberian ferry service, which would open up existing and develop new freight markets. Should a direct service open, it would bring new opportunities also for holidaymakers, where Spain is the most visited country in the EU visited by Irish holidaymakers ... heading for the sun!

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