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Stena Line refits ferry for battery experiment

The Nordic ferry company tests new environmental energy options for the propulsion of its vessels.

The next step in Nordic ferry company Stena Line’s ongoing sustainability strategy is to test new environmentally friendly energy options for the propulsion of its vessels.

The ferry Jutlandica, which sails between Frederikshavn in Denmark and Gothenburg in Sweden, is now being used in a partly EU-funded experiment in greener technology. Stena plans to convert it so it will eventually be able to sail on battery power alone.

It will get a refit this summer, but it will only initially be a diesel-electric hybrid with a 1 MWh battery installed, the Danish engineering publication Ingeniøren reports.

Running the ship on battery propulsion alone is only expected to be possible by around 2030, the company says.

To sail the 50 nautical miles from Frederikshavn to Sweden, a 50 MWh battery is needed.

Waiting for progress
By the summer, battery power during ‘in port’ operations will become a reality.

“Recharging will be carried out using the systems available at present. We will use existing high-voltage shore connections. The ship will be able to charge up around 500 kWh each time she is in port,” says Stena Line press officer, Jesper Waltersson

“As both the size and price of batteries are falling, this type of power is going to become a very interesting alternative to traditional fuel in the transport sector. It could mean a complete elimination of emissions being released into the atmosphere.”

Stena Line CEO Niclas Mårtensson: “Sustainability is very high on our agenda and we are constantly evaluating new ways to reduce our impact on the environment. From 2015, for example, methanol has been part of the fuel mix on Stena Germanica, which operates between Gothenburg and Kiel, and we also run around 300 different energy-saving projects to help us achieve our goal. As both the size and cost of batteries decreases, battery operation is becoming a very exciting alternative to traditional fuels for shipping, with the added prospect of emissions to the air being completely eliminated.”

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