Auto­no­mous zero-emission short­sea ves­sel ‘ZULU MASS’ enters the design phase

Zulu Associates, a leading innovator in the Belgian maritime industry, has contracted Conoship International to advance the design of the Zulu Mass 200 TEU shortsea container vessel, which will be powered by zero-emission propulsion technology.

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The ves­sel con­cept, which recei­ved ‘Appr­oval in Prin­ci­ple’ from Lloyds Regis­ter, is plan­ned to be initi­al­ly ope­ra­tio­nal with Ang­lo Bel­gi­an Ship­ping Com­pa­ny Ltd on Green Cor­ri­dors bet­ween the Euro­pean Con­ti­nent and the United Kingdom.

The Zulu Mass will be ful­ly elec­tri­cal and powered by 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 also desi­gned to be unman­ned as a part of a Mari­ti­me Auto­no­my Sys­tem, which will allow it to com­pe­te with fossil-fueled vessels.

Bel­gi­um, at the fore­front of pio­nee­ring nati­ons, estab­lished a legal frame­work for unman­ned ves­sel pilot pro­jects in the North Sea in 2021. Now, a signi­fi­cant deve­lo­p­ment has occur­red as Bel­gi­um, the United King­dom, and Den­mark have come tog­e­ther to sign an agree­ment. This col­la­bo­ra­ti­on eli­mi­na­tes the need for sepa­ra­te per­mit appli­ca­ti­ons, great­ly sim­pli­fy­ing the regu­la­to­ry process.


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