Zulu Associates, an innovator in the Belgian maritime industry, has contracted Conoship International to advance the design of the Zulu Mass. This 200 TEU short sea container vessel will be powered by zero-emission propulsion technology.
The vessel concept, which received Approval in Principle from Lloyd’s 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-fuelled vessels.
Also read: Vega orders ten Conoship Eco coasters
Legal framework for unmanned vessels
Belgium 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.