Tanker shipping company Stena Bulk has unveiled a new concept hybrid bulk carrier design for the 2030’s called InfinityMAX, designed to operate semi-autonomously with zero emissions and carry both dry and wet cargoes in standardised modular compartments.
The company says that the creation of standardised multi-modal cargo units that can carry dry bulk, liquid bulk or liquified gas products – such as methane, hydrogen or ammonia – could significantly streamline the process of transporting wet and dry bulk cargoes.
Each of the InfinityMAX’s modular cargo units are intended to be totally self-sufficient in terms of their energy use, with wind turbines and solar panels generating all the electricity needed for internal systems. The units have also been designed to be able to be dropped off outside of ports and picked up by tugs, avoiding congestion and reducing call times.
The concept vessel will use hydrogen as a marine fuel and wind turbines to generate further energy. Collapsible wing sails and a shark skin hull have also been incorporated in the design to improve efficiency.
Although the vessels will be crewed, Stena Bulk says it has designed the InfinityMAX to be semi-autonomous, to support crews by removing the amount of physical labour required and increasing the focus on monitoring and interaction with operators ashore.
“We are extremely proud to unveil our InfinityMAX concept vessel design, which we believe pushes the boundaries for the future of our industry,” said Erik Hånell, President and CEO, Stena Bulk.
“What we are proposing here is innovative, provocative and would radically reshape the way we think about bulk trade, rationalising two segments with complimentary expertise into one shipping segment that is ready for the challenges of the future.”
“The application of advanced technologies – including hydrogen fuel and other efficiency measures – means that this is a vessel concept that proves our core philosophy that innovation is key to commercial success, given the challenges that we all face. We will continue to work closely with our innovation partners, leaving no stone unturned to ensure that the right advances happen to make the InfinityMAX concept into a reality.”
Stena Bulk says that it believes that an InfinityMAX vessel could come into service between 2030 and 2035, if the necessary collaboration between industry and technology leaders is pursued in the coming years.