Ponant unveils ‘Swap2Zero’ emissions-free ship concept

Ponant unveils ‘Swap2Zero’ emissions-free ship concept

Next generation vessel is due to enter service in 2030

A next generation passenger sailing ship aims to abolish green house gas emissions when it enters into service for French company Ponant in 2030.

The eco-designed ‘Swap2Zero’ vessel with 100 cabins will be in line with new European and international regulations on emissions.

Ponant “has committed to a uniquely designed transoceanic ship, supporting the evolution towards carbon neutrality,” the company said.  

The company’s research and development team has come up with a pioneering concept that combines six “groundbreaking” technologies designed to “redefine future navigation”. 

The sailing ship aims to be a catalyst for new energy solutions for Ponant and the broader industry. 

The company is working with naval architecture firm Stirling Design International. 

Discussions are ongoing to select a shipyard to build the cutting-edge vessel, described as “a technological revolution” that puts sustainability at the heart of the project by adopting an “unprecedented” eco-design approach. 

“This is a major advancement in shipbuilding with selection of equipment and materials based on an analysis of their life cycle through to the recycling of waste,” according to Ponant.

The project features:

  • A sail power system providing an average of half of propulsion energy; 
  • New generation panels with solar devices integrated into the sails; 
  • Liquid hydrogen-aided propulsion with water and heat being recycled; 
  • A high temperature fuel cell to meet the ship’s hotel load requirements, with the heat emitted being recovered and used to produce hot water;
  • On board carbon capture technology;
  • A bespoke energy management system to control and distribute power without any generators being in service and on board carbon capture technology.

Chief executive Herve Gastinel said: “By 2030, our future ship aims to have zero greenhouse gas emissions when sailing, manoeuvring, in port or at anchor. 

“Her carbon footprint will be reduced throughout her life cycle. Renewable energy supplied by the wind and sun will be combined with low-carbon non-fossil energy associated with fuel cells.”

He added: “Ponant is a company of sailors focused on exploration and innovation, and it is this pioneering spirit that is inspiring the whole Swap2Zero programme. 

“This is much more than a new ship. We want to offer a new mode of navigation and actively contribute to decarbonisation of the maritime sector. 

“Our in-house R&D team has brought together the best specialists in shipbuilding and renewable energy to imagine and develop an energy model that aims at zero emissions.  

“With Swap2Zero, we are building a French technological showcase to convince other stakeholders to commit to carbon neutral navigation.”