Belgium-based Zulu Associates, an initiator, developer and operator of innovations in the marine component of logistic chains, has contracted the Dutch ship designer Conoship International to advance the design of the “Zulu Mass” 200 TEU shortsea container vessel, which will be powered by zero-emission propulsion technology.

The concept of “Zulu Mass”, 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.

Conoship informs in its announcement that 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.

Furthermore, 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.

It is mentioned by Conoship that Belgium already in 2021 has established a legal framework for unmanned vessel pilot projects in the North Sea.

Now the latest development is that Belgium, the United Kingdom, and Denmark have come together to sign an agreement, which eliminates the need for separate permit applications, greatly simplifying the regulatory process for unmanned vessels.