Autonomous Zero-Emission shortsea vessel ‘Zulu Mass’ enters the design phase

Zulu Associates has contracted Conoship International to design the autonomous zero-emission shortsea vessel ‘Zulu Mass’


Zulu Associates, a leading innovator in the Belgian maritime industry, has contracted  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 vessel concept, 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.

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.

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.

Belgium, at the forefront of pioneering nations, established a legal framework for unmanned vessel pilot projects in the North Sea in 2021. Now, a significant development has occurred as Belgium, the United Kingdom, and Denmark have come together to sign an agreement. This collaboration eliminates the need for separate permit applications, greatly simplifying the regulatory process.

Zulu Mass - Zero-Emission

About Conoship International

Conoship International is a Dutch ship design and engineering company at the forefront of innovation and technology in the maritime industry. Since 1952, over 2,000 ships have been built according to the company’s designs.

Conoship provides solutions for the shipping industry, from feasibility studies, consultancy services, design, and basic engineering, to workshop drawings, to project development, with a strong focus on efficiency and sustainability. The company has an international and diverse team located in Groningen, Rotterdam and Gdansk.

About Zulu Associates

Zulu Associates is a Belgian company active as an initiator, developer and operator of innovations in the marine component of logistic chains. Its goal is to enable zero-emission operation of commercial vessels on inland waterways, shortsea and coastal routes through autonomous operation and alternative propulsion. Zulu Associates was established to regroup and exploit innovations in logistic chains with marine content.

View the portfolio of our wide range of ship designs, from general cargo vessels, tankers, and dredgers, to ferries and offshore vessels.