Belgian vessel innovator Zulu Associates releases Conoship’s latest designs for first unmanned zero-emission shortsea vessel featuring wind blades

ZULU Associates, the Belgian zero-emission vessel developer, with its subsidiary, Anglo Belgian Shipping Company Ltd, are revealing the concept design of their groundbreaking 200 TEU shortsea container vessel, the ZULU MASS, an unmanned ship featuring an auxiliary wind assistance system. In close cooperation with Zulu Associates, a leading innovator in the Belgian maritime industry, Conoship International designed the Zulu Mass 200 TEU shortsea container vessel.  

A lot of attention was paid to the philosophy behind every part of the design, leading to an extremely well-thought-out design. 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. 

Passion for innovation
Antoon van Coillie, CEO of Zulu Associates says in the press release they are happy working with us as we share their passion for innovation.

“In collaboration with Conoship, we are challenging ourselves to build the most advanced and innovative vessel we can. As a result, we are not only fully electric and autonomous but also adding wind blades and examining wave foil propulsion. This is an exciting time for short sea shipbuilding where traditional concepts are being challenged, change is being driven and new zero-emission capabilities are becoming possible.” 

Unmanned zero-emission shortsea vessel
The vessel is also designed to be unmanned as a part of a Maritime Autonomy System, allowing it to compete with fossil-fuelled vessels. 

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

“We want to seize this opportunity to get the Zulu Mass in the water by 2025 as a world first and trailblazer in the sector”, concludes Mr. Coillie.  


Read the full press release