Sweden’s Stena Line plans to deploy two battery-powered ferries across the Kattegat Sea between Gothenburg and Frederikshavn before 2030, the company has announced. Stena is collaborating in the project with Volvo Group, Scania and the Port of Gothenburg as part of the Transzero Initiative, set up to reduce carbon emissions.
Stena Line’s CEO, Niclas Mårtensson, said that the company plans to present an outline specification of the first vessel, Stena Elektra, within the next year and to place the first contract by 2025. The ferry is likely to have a length of about 200m, he said, with space for 1,000 passengers and 3,000 lane metres of freight capacity.
The ships will be built of high-tensile steel to save weight and will have 60-70 MWh of battery capacity, sufficient for the 50-nautical-mile Kattegat Sea crossing. The batteries will be charged in port and could be combined with other fossil-free energy sources such as fuel cells, hydrogen and bio-methanol, to provide the ferries with additional reach.
“The electrification of shipping has only just begun,” Mårtensson noted. “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.”
The ferry company took delivery of its latest E-Flexer vessel, Stena Embla, in January. The third vessel in a series of up to 11 ships under construction at China Merchant Jinling Shipyard (Weihai) Co Ltd, formerly AVIC Weihai Shipyard Co, is now deployed on the Irish Sea between Liverpool and Belfast.