PONANT moves towards zero carbon navigation

2023-07-20T12:28:27+00:00 July 19th, 2023|Ships|

PONANT’s R&D team has designed what is claimed to be a pioneering concept that combines six technologies.

The sailing ship, which will be ready for operation by 2030, aims to be a catalyst for new energy solutions for PONANT and the broader industry.

Whilst PONANT has again chosen to join forces with naval architects Stirling Design International, discussions are ongoing to select the shipyard for the building of the vessel.

“By 2030, our future ship aims to have zero greenhouse gas emissions when sailing, manoeuvring, in port or at anchor. Her carbon footprint will be reduced throughout her life cycle. Renewable energy supplied by the wind and sun will be combined with low carbon non-fossil energy associated with fuel cells,” explained Hervé Gastinel, PONANT CEO.

With around 100 staterooms and a length overall of 181 m, PONANT said that its proposed sailing ship is paving the way to a new era for the maritime industry.

In line with new European and international regulations on greenhouse gas emissions, PONANT is adopting an eco-design approach.

This is claimed to be a major advancement in shipbuilding with the selection of equipment and materials based on an analysis of their life cycle through to the recycling of waste.

Dubbed Swap2Zero, the design aims for zero CO2 eq* emissions while in operation, with one month autonomy by being the first to combine six de-carbonisation technology building blocks:

1)  A sail power system and hull providing an average of 50% of the propulsion energy using the force of the wind;

2)  A surface area totalling over 1,000 sq m of photovoltaic panels, with organic solar eco-designed devices integrated into the structures and sails;

3)  A low temperature fuel cell operating on liquid hydrogen for propulsion, with the water and heat produced being recycled;

4)  A high temperature fuel cell to meet the ship’s hotel load requirements, with the heat emitted being recovered and used to produce hot water;

5)  On-board carbon capture technology, coupled with the high temperature fuel cell;

6)  An innovative bespoke energy management system to control and distribute power without any generators operating.

Swap2Zero is also part of the PONANT SCIENCE programme in line with a commitment to scientists. She will accommodate researchers involved in de-carbonisation technologies, a major challenge in the battle to control global warming.

As part of the call for tenders process, two sail propulsion systems are being considered.

“PONANT is a company of sailors focused on exploration and innovation, and it is this pioneering spirit that is inspiring the whole Swap2Zero programme,” Gastinel, said.

“This is much more than a new ship. We want to offer a new mode of navigation and actively contribute to de-carbonisation of the maritime sector.

“Our in-house R&D team has brought together the best specialists in shipbuilding and renewable energy to imagine and develop an energy model that aims at zero emissions.  With Swap2Zero, we are building a French technological showcase to convince other stakeholders to commit to carbon neutral navigation,” he said.

* CO2 eq = well to wheel CO2 equivalent emissions; takes into account CO2, Methane, N20 emissions.