Stena Line boosts green credentials

Stena Line outlines roadmap to fossil-free shipping

Accelerating its transition towards fossil-free shipping, Swedish shipping company Stena Line has outlined plans to reduce its CO2 emissions by 30% by 2030 and be completely fossil-free by 2050.

Despite a challenging year, the ferry company continued to reduce its total CO2 emissions last year with carbon dioxide emissions per nautical mile sailed decreasing by -2.3%/nm in 2020. Erik Lewenhaupt, Group Head of Sustainability at Stena Line, said: "We are working hard to reduce our fuel consumption and emissions, while at the same time exploring tomorrow's fuels and technologies. The main drivers behind the reduction of emissions in 2020 are that we have introduced three new, and up to 30% more energy-efficient vessels, on the Irish Sea. We have also introduced renewable shore electricity during port calls in Kiel and five more ships in the fleet have been equipped with the AI assistant Stena Fuel Pilot to support our captains in operating the vessels in the most energy-efficient way,"

Stena Line said it is already ten years ahead of international IMO shipping emission reduction targets but has chosen to accelerate its transition towards fossil-free shipping. Plans to reduce total CO2 emissions by 30% by 2030 will be achieved by, among other things, launching the fossil-free vessel Stena Elektra on the Gothenburg-Frederikshavn route.

Stena Line's CEO Niclas Mårtensson said: “Our ambition is to lead the development towards fossil-free shipping and sustainable transportation by sea. This requires that we need to break our dependence on fossil fuels and start reducing our total emissions, not only become more efficient per sailing and transported unit. Therefore, Stena Line has now chosen to set the ambitious target to reduce our total carbon dioxide emissions by 30% by 2030, because in the end they need be zero."

Stena Line has identified four key areas to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in order to achieve its ambitious targets:

Electrification of shipping

Stena Line is currently a leader in the electrification of shipping; since 2018 the Stena Jutlandica battery hybrid has operated on the route between Gothenburg and Fredrikshamn. By 2030, the fossil-free ferry Stena Elektra will traverse the entire route on battery power only, a distance of 50 nautical miles.

Electrification of port and terminals continued during 2020 and today 99.8% renewable electricity is used within Stena Line. At 25% of Stena Line's terminals, the ships connect to green electricity during port calls, which in 2020 reduced Stena Line's carbon dioxide emissions by more than 13,000 tons, equal to the annual emissions from 7,200 passenger cars.

Exploring alternative fuels

In 2015, Stena Line launched the world's first ferry that can run on both diesel and methanol. The unique project on the Stena Germanica, on the Gothenburg and Kiel line, established methanol as ship fuel. Methanol can be produced from natural gas, coal, biomass or CO2. Using methanol eliminates emissions of sulphur and particulate matter almost entirely and nitrogen by 60% compared to traditional ship fuel.Stena Line investigates several alternative fuels such as hydrogen, fuel cells and in 2021 a test is planned with methanol recovered from residual steel production gases.

Modernising the fleet

In 2020, three new next generation E-Flexer ferries have started operating on the Irish Sea. The ships are up to 30% more energy efficient than previous vessels and are 'gas ready'– prepared to be converted into gas, or methanol operation. In 2022, another two extended E-Flexers vessels will be delivered to Stena Line. Over the past ten years, Stena Line has modernised the fleet through more than 360 small and large efficiency measures. These include actions such as changing bulbs, propellers and rudders, using IoT such as frequency-controlled ventilation on board, and new environmentally friendly Selektope anti-fouling hull coatings.

Artificial intelligence onboard

Stena Line's experienced captains have received a new helper on board, the AI assistant Stena Fuel Pilot, which supports them in operating the ship in the most efficient way. In 2020, Stena Fuel Pilot was installed on five ferries between Sweden and Germany and Sweden and Denmark. The plan is a fleet-wide rollout within two years. Stena Fuel Pilot has the potential to reduce fuel consumption by up to 5% per ship, per sailing, but further potential for AI support for reduced fuel consumption is also being investigated.

Read more about Stena Line’s sustainable journey  at