Zulu Associates unveils design for zero-emission wind-assisted English Channel vessel

Belgian maritime innovator Zulu Associates has revealed a new concept design for its 200 TEU autonomous short sea container vessel, the Zulu MASS, featuring an auxiliary wind assistance system.

The new design has been produced by Dutch ship naval architects Conoship International, according to Antoon Van Coillie, Zulu Associates CEO. It is being developed together with Zulu’s subsidiary the Anglo Belgian Shipping Company and will operate across the English Channel.

The design is a larger seagoing version of the inland 90 TEU X-Barge. It is 100 meters in length and features a 650kW electric propulsion generator, which can be powered by hydrogen, ammonia or methanol fueled engines, as well as a hydrogen, ammonia or methanol fuel cell. Currently,it is in the final build design stage at Zulu Associates, it features all-electric and autopilot features, as well as wind-assisted systems, and the ability to be propelled by wave wings.

Last year, the 100-meter-long ship received approval in principle (AiP) from classification society Lloyd’s Register.

Van Coillie confirmed the designers are developing modular energy containers for the Zulu MASS using batteries and/or hydrogen-based power systems to provide the prime energy source. He added that discussions with energy providers are ongoing in parallel with the design.

“Autonomy is still in its infancy but we want to show what is possible and support the process of regulation keeping pace with innovation,” Zulu Associates CEO explained. “As a result, the Zulu MASS is designed to be unmanned as a part of a Maritime Autonomy System, which will allow it to compete with fossil fueled or hybrid vessels.”

Yangzijiang Shipbuilding

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