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Friday, September 25, 2020 

Ro-pax and ro-ro operator Stena is involved in development of a new type of energy storage, similar to very large powerbanks, which it says will be essential for the quick charging of electric ferries in the future.

The project, initiated by Batteryloop, a subsidiary of Stena Recycling Group, is part-financed by the EU and will, among other things, investigate how used batteries from the transport sector can be reused for energy storage in ports.

Rasmus Bergström, MD Batteryloop, said: "An incredible amount is happening in the world of batteries. New solutions are being designed to meet the charging requirements of the transport sector of the future, especially for shipping where vessels are starting to switch to electric power. Rapidly charging a large ferry, for example, requires a huge amount of energy in a short time and it’s 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.

“One thing is sure, batteries are here to stay. In order to conserve natural resources and make battery recycling sustainable, we need to do everything we can to use batteries for as long as possible. Our conclusion is 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’ll have a win-win situation in many ways.”

The project will map and evaluate opportunities to reuse lithium-ion batteries from the transport and automotive industry. The collaboration includes several Stena companies - Batteryloop, Stena Recycling, Stena Rederi and Stena Line - the ports of Gothenburg and Kiel and DNV GL. The project will be carried out over two years and be part-financed by INEA, the EU’s Innovation and Networks Executive Agency.

“This is an important milestone in the electrification of shipping. Our future project, Stena Elektra - a fully electric ferry - is already on the drawing board. In order to succeed, we need to solve the issue 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 Per Wimby, project manager electrification, Stena Teknik.

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