Ferry line Stena is expanding shipping’s electrification infrastructure by supporting the development of a new type of energy storage, similar to very large powerbanks, which will speed up charging of electric ferries.

“An incredible amount is happening in the world of batteries,” said Stena subsidiary Batteryloop managing director Rasmus Bergström.

Mr Bergström said new methods are being designed to meet the charging requirements of electric vessels. “Rapidly charging a large ferry, for example, requires a huge amount of energy in a short time and it is not certain that the electricity grid will be able to deliver it. Local energy stores at ports could offer a great solution to this problem.”

Batteryloop is looking at maximising the potential of batteries to conserve resources and ensure sustainability and has concluded that many batteries can have a second life as energy storage. “If we can find solutions that will scale-up and work in ports, we will have a win-win situation in many ways” said Mr Bergström.

In 2018, Stena Line used a self-contained energy storage system on the battery retrofit of its ferry Stena Jutlandica. Now the company plans to introduce Stena Elektra, a fully electric ferry in the future and is looking at options to solve the problem of how to quickly charge a ferry.

“Energy storage at ports using recycled batteries is a very interesting and sustainable alternative for the future” said Stena Teknik’s project manager for electrification, Per Wimby. Quayside energy storage can also be used as an alternative power source for vessels in port, reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Stena Line and the Port of Gothenburg have been pioneers in this area and all Stena Line ferries are connected to green onshore power in Gothenburg.

The two-year project is part-financed by INEA, the EU’s Innovation and Networks Executive Agency and will map and evaluate opportunities to reuse lithium-ion batteries from the transport and automotive industry for energy storage in ports.

The collaboration includes several Stena companies – Stena Line, Batteryloop, Stena Recycling and Stena Rederi – the ports of Gothenburg and Kiel and classification society DNV GL.