FOCUS ON DEVELOPMENT OF ENERGY-EFFICIENT, SMART VESSELS
The development of the battery-operated Stena Elektra, the world’s so far most advanced RoPax vessel, was one of Stena Teknik’s main projects in 2019. ”It is also a fine symbol of our work, whereby we use the technical development to continuously find new solutions to make transport more energy efficient, while also reducing environmental impacts,” says Harry Robertsson, Technical Director.
Stena Teknik is a technical resource for Stena’s marine-related business areas, to increase their competitiveness and develop techniques to handle the Group’s vessels on a safe, environmentally friendly and effective basis. Stena Teknik plays an important role in achieving the vision of climate-neutral transport. Within this area, intensive work is taking place to optimise the design of existing vessels and newbuildings, in order to reduce fuel consumption and increase load capacity. There is great potential to optimise vessel construction by also reducing the amount of steel used, and thereby the total weight.
Stena Elektra on battery
The Stena Elektra project is a good example of this. ”For Stena Elektra, the aim for the vessel is to be able to cover 50 nautical miles on battery, which is the entire route between Göteborg and Frederikshavn. In the construction, we plan to use lightweight materials and to eliminate anything that is not necessary for the vessel’s operation, in order to reduce the weight as far as possible. The vessel will also have a more flexible structure, so that this can be adjusted quickly, depending on the demand profile between cargo and passengers,” says Harry Robertsson.
PLANNED DELIVERY IN 2030
Currently, Stena Elektra only exists as a futuristic model at Stena’s head office, but according to Harry Robertsson, the aim for the vessel is to be delivered by no later than 2030. ”We would prefer it to be ready before then. But there are challenges, such as the required installation of a battery with a capacity of 70MWh, to be able to sail to Frederikshavn where it needs to be charged for the return crossing,” says Harry Robertsson.
So far, battery operation has been tested on Stena Line’s vessel, Stena Jutlandica. One result of the successful installation is that large batteries onboard vessels will be more and more customary in the future. How they are arranged and connected to the vessel’s energy system will vary according to where and how the vessel operates.
Installation of batteries is now being assessed for both new orders and existing vessels in Stena’s fleet.
DEVELOPMENT OF EXISTING MODEL
During the year, Stena Teknik contributed to the development of Stena RoRo’s new E-Flexer vessel of the RoPax model type, which is currently being built in China and will be among the most energy efficient of its kind. The vessel is built to run on various types of fuel and is also prepared for such cleaning equipment as scrubbers and catalytic cleaning. ”We’ve reduced the fuel consumption of the E-Flexer vessel by around 25 per cent, compared to equivalent previous tonnage, which besides reducing costs also benefits the environment significantly,” says Harry Robertsson.
Parallel to this, the work is continuing to use AI and machine learning for route optimisation, and thereby further reduction of fuel consumption. During the year, product tanker newbuildings for transport of methanol were also contracted for Stena Bulk. The vessels will also be able to run on methanol.
The newbuilding of Stena Oil’s bunker vessel have continued during the year, and delivery is estimated to take place next year.
Newbuildings in order