Tanker shipping company Stena Bulk has released details of an electric, modular hybrid bulk carrier which it says is designed to meet the world’s need for sustainable, zero-carbon, efficient and flexible seaborne transportation.
Dubbed the InfinityMAX concept, it is designed to carry both dry and wet cargoes in modular compartments. Each of the vessel’s modular cargo units are designed to be totally self-sufficient in terms of their energy use, with wind turbines and solar panels generating all the electricity needed for internal systems. The modular units have also been designed so that they can be dropped off outside ports and picked up by tugs, avoiding congestion and reducing call times dramatically.
The concept will use hydrogen as a marine fuel and wind turbines to generate further energy. Collapsible wing sails and a shark skin hull have also been incorporated in the concept design to significantly improve efficiency.
Commenting on the project, Erik Hånell, president and CEO, Stena Bulk, said, “What we are proposing here is innovative, provocative and would radically reshape the way we think about bulk trade, rationalizing two segments with complementary expertise into one shipping segment that is ready for the challenges of the future.
“The application of advanced technologies – including hydrogen fuel and other efficiency measures – means that this is a vessel concept that proves our core philosophy that innovation is key to commercial success, given the challenges that we all face. We will continue to work closely with our innovation partners, leaving no stone unturned to ensure that the right advances happen to make the InfinityMAX concept into a reality.”
Stena notes that by 2050, the growing need for transportation of energy from areas with abundant renewable supply to areas with large energy demand – carried as hydrogen, methanol, methane, and ammonia – will be a defining part of international trade. This, combined with the requirement to transport sustainable, edible oils and chemicals, and carbon dioxide from carbon capture facilities, as well as bulk commodities, requires a vessel design that is up to the challenge of a radically reformed global economy.
Stena Bulk believes that, with the right level of matured technologies, the first InfinityMAX vessel could come into service between 2030 and 2035.