Stena Line commits to two 100% electric ferries for Gothenburg – Frederikshavn

Two Stena Elektra ships to be delivered by 2030

Stena Line Ferry Company, Frederikshavn Port and Frederikshavn Municipality signed an agreement earlier today committing each party to make the necessary investments for Stena Line to introduce two Stena Elektra class ferries on the Gothenburg-Frederikshavn route by 2030. The agreement means that land infrastructure such as sustainable charging facilities will be developed in parallel with the ships.

Stena’s Elektra ferries will be the world’s first fossil-free Ro-Pax ships of their size. Approximately 200 meters long, the ships will have a capacity of 1,000 to 1,500 passengers and 3,000 meters of vehicle tracks. This is a similar amount to the current generation of diesel powered Stena E-Flexer ferries from Stena Line.

Niclas Mårtensson, CEO of Stena Line, signs an agreement for two fossil fuel-free ferries for Frederikshavn. Image: Stena Line.

The arrival of the Elektra ferries, which Stena has previously announced plans to order by 2025, will probably see off the current ships on the route – STENA DANICA and STENA JUTLANDICA. The latter already works partially on batteries, reducing emissions by around 1,500 tonnes of CO2 per year, or the equivalent of the annual emissions of 600 passenger cars.

STENA JUTLANDICA arrives at Fayard for her 2019 dry docking. Image © Peter Therkildsen.
STENA JUTLANDICA arrives at Fayard for her 2019 dry docking. Image © Peter Therkildsen.

Stena has been developing the Elektra concept for a few years now, in collaboration with partners such as the RISE research institutes in Sweden and the Chalmers University of Technology. A recent report compiled with the help of Stena and others involved in the project for the Swedish Transport Administration concluded that a fully electric Ro-Pax ferry operating on the Gothenburg – Frederikshavn route “is a technically and commercially realistic alternative”. He also concludes that a fully electric vessel will likely cost 20% more to purchase than a similar conventional vessel.

A rendering of STENA ELEKTRA.  Image: Stena Line / Peter Mild.
A rendering of STENA ELEKTRA. Image: Stena Line / Peter Mild.

Largest marine battery installation ever

Although the exact specifications of the Stena Elektra ferries have not yet been finalized, it is expected that they will come with a battery capacity of 60 to 70 MW. It is at least 10 times the largest current marine battery installation. About half of this capacity should be enough for the three hour crossing, which helps optimize battery life and charge time. It also means that there should always be enough battery capacity to return to the original port in case of problems at the destination. The charge will be via a high voltage shore cable and will take place over one hour during the turnaround.

STENA ELEKTRA.  Stena Line aims to launch this fully battery powered vessel before 2030. Stena Elektra is a light battery powered vessel with a capacity of approximately 50 nautical miles on battery only, ie between Gothenburg or Fredrikshaven.  Image: Stena Line / Peter Mild.
STENA ELEKTRA. Stena Line aims to launch this fully battery powered vessel before 2030. Stena Elektra is a light battery powered vessel with a capacity of approximately 50 nautical miles on battery only, ie between Gothenburg or Fredrikshaven. Image: Stena Line / Peter Mild.

The vessel will be constructed of high strength steel and designed to be light in order to maximize efficiency and minimize energy consumption. A new hull shape has also been developed specifically for the project which is optimized for the Gothenburg – Frederikshavn route. Propulsion is expected to be provided by Azipods which take up less space than a conventional drive chain and eliminate the need for bow thrusters to maneuver the vessel.

Stena Line CEO Niclas Mårtensson, who is also a member of the Swedish Government’s Commission for Electrification, said:

“Our ambition is to drive development towards fossil fuel-free navigation and sustainable maritime transport. That is why we are investing in new technologies and various alternative fuels. We are already ten years ahead of the international shipping industry’s goal of reducing carbon dioxide emissions, but with Stena Elektra we are taking another important step forward in Stena Line’s sustainable journey on the way of a completely fossil fuel-free operation ”,

Niclas Mårtensson, CEO of Stena Line, Birgit Hansen, President of the City Council (S) of the Municipality of Fredrikshamn and Mikkel Seedorff Sørensen, CEO of the Port of Fredrikshamn.  Image: Stena Line.
Niclas Mårtensson, CEO of Stena Line, Birgit Hansen, President of the City Council (S) of the Municipality of Frederikshavn and Mikkel Seedorff Sørensen, CEO of the Port of Frederikshavn. Image: Stena Line.

The Municipality of Frederikshavn is also committed to helping to create a lasting connection between Sweden and Denmark with the two Stena Elektra vessels.

“Stena Elektra is a fantastic project for Frederikshavn. We know from experience that when the municipality leads the way, the business world as well as individuals follow in our green footsteps. Our city and Stena Line have enjoyed a close relationship for a long time, but this ambitious agreement is not only important to us – it also has ripple effects throughout Denmark, ”said Birgit Hansen, President of the City Council (S ) of the Municipality of Frederikshavn. .

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