Stena Line, the company that operates 38 vessels and 21 routes in Northern Europe, will try to electrify one of its ferries to see whether it's viable.

Stena Line ferry

Stena Line ferry

The idea is to convert the Stena Jutlandica ferry to a kind of plug-in hybrid in three stages. In the first stage (by this summer), it will be equipped with a 1 MWh/3 MW battery to power bow thrusters and maneuvering when berthing in port and for optimization of power usage during operation (peak shaving).

Stena Jutlandica operates between Gothenburg a(Norway) nd Frederikshavn (Denmark).

Then, in the second stage, 20 MWh of batteries are to be installed for range of up to 10 nautical miles. In the third stage, the battery will be expanded to 50 MWh for range of up to 50 nautical miles.

The 50 MWh battery is huge, as the biggest energy storage system, installed by Tesla in Australia, is 129 MWh.

If the project is successful, Stena Line will consider electrifying other vessels in its fleet.

"The battery project is an important part of Stena Line's sustainability strategy. In the future our target with the ‘battery’ is to be able to navigate the vessel 50 nautical miles.

"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 is part of the fuel mix on Stena Germanica, which operates between Gothenburg and Kiel, and we also run around 300 different energy saving projects. As both the size and cost of batteries decrease, battery operation becomes a very exciting alternative to traditional fuels for shipping, as emissions to air can be completely eliminated”, says Stena Line's CEO Niclas Mårtensson.

The battery project will commence now and will be completed step by step. In step one, it is about switching on battery power for bow thrusters and maneuvering when berthing in port. In step two, an extended battery operation is connected to the propellers, meaning that Stena Jutlandica can be operated on electricity within around 10 nautical miles, equal to the distance between Göteborg and Vinga Lighthouse.

In step three, battery capacity is further expanded and a vessel can operate about 50 nautical miles of electricity corresponding to the distance between Gothenburg and Frederikshavn.

The objective of accomplishing this in several steps is to test and gather knowledge about electrical operation along the way. If the project is successful, battery operation may also be applicable to other vessels in the Stena Line fleet of 38 vessels.

The technical solutions are being developed together with Stena Teknik, which cooperates with the academic world, authorities and various suppliers. The project has been received very positively, and the first phase is supported and financed by half by the Swedish Transport Administration and the EU.

Facts: The technology tested is based on plug-in hybrid technology. The batteries are charged when the ship is connected to shore power, which is also an important focus area on clean energy, but can also be charged while operating the ship's generators. The different steps of the project:

Step 1

- Battery power on bow thrusters and maneuvering when berthing in port.

- Optimises power usage during operation (Peak Shaving)

- Battery capacity 1 MWh

Step 2

- Battery operation in port and in the archipelago up to around 10 nautical miles

- Battery capacity about 20 MWh

Step 3

- Full battery power up to about 50 nautical miles

- Battery capacity about 50 MWh"

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