North European passenger and cargo ferry specialist Stena Line plans to start operating two fossil-free battery powered vessels on the route between Gothenburg, Sweden, and Frederikshavn, Denmark, by no later than 2030.
The announcement was made by Stena Lines CEO Niclas Mårtensson at a press conference today on the Tranzero Initiative, an effort to speed up the transition to fossil-free fuels in the transport sector in which Stena Line, the Volvo Group, Scania and the Port of Gothenburg have joined forces, aiming to cut emissions in the Port of Gothenburg, the largest port in Scandinavia, by 70% by 2030.
“We now move from vision to vessel with the battery powered vessel Stena Elektra,” said Mårtenssonn. “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.”
The vessel, the Stena Elektra will be the world’s first fossil free RoPax of its size and will measure approximately 200 meters in length and combine a passenger capacity of 1,000 with 3,000 lane meters of freight capacity.
The vessel will be built in high tensile steel to lower the weight and increase efficiency and it is estimated it will be able to 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 electrification with other alternative fossil free fuels such as fuel cells, hydrogen and bio methanol to extend the range of the vessel.
“The electrification of shipping has only just began. We see a great potential for both battery hybrids and battery powered vessels on several of our short-sea shipping routes in the future,” said Mårtensson. “But, it takes more than the electric 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.”
BATTERY HYBRID ALREADY OPERATING
Stena Line has been operating the battery hybrid vessel Stena Jutlandica on the Gothenburg-Frederikshavn route since 2018, using 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 in Gothenburg as well as during operation. In total the CO2 emissions are lowered by 1,500 tonnes per year, equal to the emissions from 600 cars per year.