Zulu Associates has contracted Dutch engineering company Conoship International to design its autonomous zero-emission shortsea vessel ‘Zulu Mass’.
Belgian company Zulu Associates says Conoship will advance the design of the Zulu Mass 200 TEU shortsea container vessel, which will be powered by zero-emission propulsion technology. The vessel concept, which has received Approval in Principle from Lloyds Register, is planned to be initially operational with Anglo Belgian Shipping Company on Green Corridors between the European Continent and the United Kingdom.
The Zulu Mass will be fully electrically powered, from modular energy containers provided by established energy storage companies using batteries and/or hydrogen-based power systems. In addition to zero-emission electrical propulsion, the vessel will be equipped with auxiliary wind propulsion, and the feasibility of wave propulsion will be investigated. The vessel is designed to operate unmanned as a part of a Maritime Autonomy System, which will allow it to compete with fossil-fuelled vessels.
Belgium established a legal framework for unmanned vessel pilot projects in the North Sea in 2021. Now, according to Conoship, a significant development has occurred as Belgium, the UK and Denmark have come together to sign an agreement. This collaboration eliminates the need for separate permit applications, simplifying the regulatory process.