Stena Line to accelerate fossil-free shipping plan

2021-04-13T20:32:24+00:00 April 13th, 2021|Environment|

Stena Line is to accelerate its transition towards fossil-free shipping.

The company has unveiled a plan to reduce total CO2 emissions by as much as 30% by 2030.

In 2020, the ferry company claimed it was continuing to reduce its total CO2 emissions and was 10 years ahead of the IMO international shipping emission reduction targets.

Last year, emissions decreased per nautical mile sailed by 2.3% per mile.

“We are working hard to reduce our fuel consumption and emissions, while at the same time exploring tomorrow’s fuels and technologies. The main drivers behind the reduction of emission in 2020 are that we have introduced three new, and up to 30 % more energy-efficient vessels, on the Irish Sea.

“We have also introduced renewable shore electricity during port calls in Kiel and five more ships in the fleet have been equipped with the AI assistant Stena Fuel Pilot to support our captains in operating the vessels in the most energy-efficient way,” said Erik Lewenhaupt, Stena Line’s Group Head of Sustainability.

The reduction of total CO2 emissions by 30% by 2030, will be achieved, by among other things, launching the fossil-free ‘Stena Elektra’ on the Gothenburg/Frederikshavn route. By 2050 the shipping company will be completely fossil-free.

“Our ambition is to lead the development towards fossil-free shipping and sustainable transportation by sea. This requires that we need to break our dependence on fossil fuels and start reducing our total emissions, not only become more efficient per sailing and transported unit.

“Therefore, Stena Line has now chosen to set the ambitious target to reduce our total carbon dioxide emissions by 30% by 2030, because in the end they need be zero,” explained the company’s CEO, Niclas Mårtensson (pictured).

Stena Line has identified four areas to reduce CO2 emissions by 30%.

Electrification of shipping:

– Stena Line claimed that it is a leader in the electrification of shipping; since 2018, the ‘Stena Jutlandica’ battery hybrid has operated on the Gothenburg/Fredrikshamn route. By 2030, the fossil-free ferry ‘Stena Elektra’ will sail on the entire route on battery power only, a distance of 50 nautical miles.

– Electrification of Stena’s port and terminals continued during 2020 and today 99.8% renewable electricity is used within Stena Line. At 25% of Stena Line’s terminals, the ships connect to green electricity during port calls, which in 2020 reduced Stena Line’s CO2 emissions by more than 13,000 tonnes, equal to the annual emissions from 7,200 passenger cars.

Exploring alternative fuels:

– In 2015, Stena Line launched the world’s first ferry that can run on both diesel and methanol. This project involved the ‘Stena Germanica’ on the Gothenburg/Kiel route, which established methanol as a ship fuel.

-Methanol can be produced from natural gas, coal, biomass or CO2. Using methanol eliminates emissions of sulphur and particulate matter almost entirely and nitrogen by 60%, compared to traditional ship fuel.

– Stena Line investigates several alternative fuels, such as hydrogen, fuel cells and in 2021, a test is planned with methanol recovered from residual steel production gases.

Modernising the fleet:

– In 2020, three new E-Flexer ropaxes have started operating on the Irish Sea. The ships are up to 30 % more energy efficient than previous vessels and are ‘gas ready’, prepared to be converted into gas, or methanol operation. In 2022, another two extended E-Flexers will be delivered to Stena Line.

– Over the past 10 years, Stena Line has modernised the fleet through more than 360 small and large efficiency measures. These included changing bulbs, propellers and rudders, using IoT, such as frequency-controlled ventilation on board and new environmentally friendly Selektope anti-fouling hull coatings.

Artificial intelligence on board:

– Stena Line’s experienced Masters have received a new helper on board, the AI assistant Stena Fuel Pilot, which supports them in operating the ship in the most efficient way. In 2020, Stena Fuel Pilot was installed on five ferries between Sweden and Germany and Sweden and Denmark. The plan is a fleet-wide rollout within two years.

– Stena Fuel Pilot has the potential to reduce fuel consumption by up to 5% per ship and sailing, but further potential for AI support for reduced fuel consumption is being investigated.

Stena Line said that its commitment to sustainability centres around five of the UN Sustainable Development Goals directly related to its business – Gender Equality, Affordable and Clean Energy, Responsible Consumption & Production, Health & Wellbeing and Life Below Water. For each focus ambitious targets were defined.

In addition, Stena has announced that the 186 m long ropax ‘Stena Livia’, ex ‘Etretat’ and ‘Norman Voyager’ will initially join the sister vessel ’Stena Flavia’ on the Nynäshamn/Ventspils route from mid-April, replacing the chartered ’Scottish Viking’.

Later this year both vessels will replace the existing tonnage on the Travemünde/Liepaja route, adding 40% freight capacity, shortening the crossing time substantially from 27 to 20 hours and enabling a reliable service with a fixed timetable with 12 weekly departures, six in each direction.

The two large ropaxes ’Stena Scandica’ and ’Stena Baltica’ will subsequently take over and start operating on the Nynäshamn/Ventspils route.