Increased cooperation within Stena for sustainable development
Stena Teknik is a technical resource for Stena’s maritime-related business units, committed to increasing their competitiveness and developing techniques to operate the Group’s vessels on a secure, sustainable and effective basis. Stena Teknik plays a central role in the Stena Group’s work to contribute to the shipping sector’s vision of climate-neutral transport, with net zero emissions by 2050. Intensive work is under way in this area to optimise the design of both existing and newly built vessels, in order to increase load capacity, minimise fuel consumption and enable fossil-free operation.
Summary of 2021
During the year, Stena Teknik took new initiatives to strengthen technical cooperation between the maritime business units.
Group technology hub
Stena Teknik also focuses on developing safety on board, not least in terms of fire safety. Another area where collaboration is necessary is digitalisation and the use of new technology for everything from streamlining operations to the development of new types of ship operation. One example is where AI is used to make ships self-steering.
“There is solid knowledge and experience within the various Stena companies. In order to make greater use of this and learn from each other, we have taken new initiatives for collaboration during the year. The goal is to develop Stena Teknik into the ‘think tank’ that we have the opportunity to become,” says Ron Gerlach, Technical Director of Stena Teknik.
“During the year, we’ve examined potential collaboration with both industry and academia to find solutions that make the vessels as lightweight and efficient as possible. There is elimination of anything that is not necessary for the vessels’ operation, in order to reduce the weight as much as possible. The vessels will also have a more flexible structure, which can be adjusted quickly, depending on the distribution of demand between freight and passengers,” he continues.
Development of fossil-free operation
Stena’s maritime business units are working to minimise carbon emissions in their operations and are actively involved in the development of groundbreaking new technology and innovations.
“We’re also aware that more needs to be done to address the transformation to renewable fuel and electrification,” says Ron Gerlach.
Stena Teknik is involved, together with several other players, in the development of ship operation based on various different fuels. One example is the construction of Stena RoRo’s energy-efficient E-Flexer vessel, the RoPax model. These vessels are designed to run on different types of fuel and are the most energy-efficient of their kind.
One important alternative fuel, to reduce shipping’s dependence on fossil fuels, is methanol. During the year, Stena developed its cooperation with the Swiss energy company Proman on the development of a solution that enables ship operation at sea based on methanol. The goal is to offer this solution for Stena’s vessels and to external operators.
Another area is the development of battery-powered vessels. Stena’s prestigious project – battery-powered Stena Elektra – the world’s most advanced RoPax vessel and is expected to be operational in 2030 with battery capacity for a range of 50 nautical miles, i.e. the route between Göteborg and Frederikshamn.
“There are many pieces that need to be in place before 2030, not least on the battery side. We need to gain better insight and knowledge about the batteries of the future – and what the charging infrastructure will look like. We need to work with both battery manufacturers and ports,” says Ron Gerlach.