Zulu Associates’ zero-emission boxship design gets LR’s nod

Classification society Lloyd’s Register (LR) has granted approval in principle (AiP) to Belgium-based company Zulu Associates for its new zero-emission containership design.

Credit: BMT/LR

As disclosed, the AiP marks a significant landmark for the energy transition and maritime digitalization, with the 100-metre-long short sea vessel set to be one of the first of its kind to have the capability of operating autonomously as a zero-emissions cargo vessel in the English Channel and the North Sea.

According to LR, the maritime industry is forecast to spend $931 million on artificial intelligence (AI) solutions in 2022. That figure is expected to more than double in the next five years to $2.7 billion by 2027, a compound annual growth rate of 23%.

The rapid growth is driven in part by investment in the sector. There is a wide range of AI use cases in the maritime industry, including support of autonomous navigation, voyage optimization, as well as systems for supporting maintenance and monitoring of vessels.

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Zulu Associates serves as an initiator, developer and operator of innovations in the marine component of logistic chains comprised of Zulu Associates bv. and  Anglo Belgian Shipping Company Ltd.

The approval was awarded by LR following a comprehensive and thorough analysis of the design undertaken against the requirements of the relevant industry codes and standards.

The ship ZULU Mass, with a capacity of 200TEU, features a 650kW electrical propulsion motor that can be powered by either a hydrogen, ammonia or methanol fuelled engine and generator. Furthermore, the ship could be powered by a hydrogen, ammonia, or methanol fuel cell or alternatively via a battery.

“The ZULU Mass design developed by ZULU Associates is a crucial milestone for autonomous shipping in both Europe and across the globe. LR is delighted to have granted Approval in Principle for this design, which has the potential to use a number of alternative propulsion technologies and helps to underline our credentials as an organisation dedicated to driving forward digitalisation and decarbonisation in the maritime industry,” Mike Holliday, UK & Ireland Area Manager, Lloyd’s Register said.

“LR has played a major part in the development and initial approval in principle of the ZULU MASS. I am extremely grateful for their support throughout the process to date, which has been invaluable,” Antoon van Coillie, CEO of ZULU Associates commented.