BY APB Staff on 9 Feb 2023

Sanlorenzo held a press conference at the recent Boot Düsseldorf show, giving an update on progress on the shipyard’s ten-year strategic plan.

Italian luxury boatbuilder Sanlorenzo held a press conference at the recent Boot Düsseldorf show, giving an update on progress on the shipyard’s ten-year strategic plan, known as “road to 2030”, which has a major focus on sustainability and innovation.

In 2023, Sanlorenzo became the Project Partner of the Blue Innovation Dock, a new Boot Düsseldorf platform that brings together voices and projects dedicated to sustainability.

Superyacht builder Sanlorenzo, which says it regards itself as a pioneer in responsible development, has shared this strategy with stakeholders, making it a formal commitment in the company’s non-financial statements that are publicly reported. 

Sanlorenzo revealed at the conference that it is partnering with Siemens Energy to work on several projects exploring innovations and technologies to reduce the environmental impact of yachts.

Through this partnership came the development and integration of combined reformer/fuel cell modules into the power supply system for hotellerie functions on yachts between 24 and 80 metres in length. It was also announced in September 2022 that Sanlorenzo would continue to advance this system for the specific requirements of the new 50Steel model.

The testing phase of the first reformer/fuel cell modules has begun, while the basic design of the methanol/water supply, power management, condensation and ventilation systems has just been completed. Currently, the components of the complete system that will be installed on board the first 50Steel unit in the Sanlorenzo shipyard in La Spezia at the beginning of 2024 are under preparation.

The project team is engaged in the Risk Assessment of the entire hotel power generation system together with Lloyd’s Register. Once completed, the firms says the application will represent the “first concrete step in the next generation of carbon-neutral power from new-generation fuels (e-methanol and bio-methanol) for the entire yachting industry.”

At the same time, Sanlorenzo is already thinking about the next step in its sustainability plan: the development of a carbon-neutral power generation system, with a substantial increase in the power developed by the reformer/fuel cell modules. This will make low-speed, wide-range navigation possible in carbon neutrality conditions through the hybrid propulsion system, overcoming the current limitations of systems, which in zero-emission mode (main engines and generators off) can only rely on the modest energy capacity of the batteries. This second step will also require a technological leap in the yacht’s structure and plant configuration.

Sanlorenzo’s R&D and technical department engineers, together with Lloyd’s Register, say they will tackle this challenge by focusing on the development of high-capacity structural tanks suitable for the new fuel. These will be compatible with the limited space available on board and will consider the strict regulations currently applied to large methanol transport vessels.

The ultimate goal for Sanlorenzo includes an even more ambitious third step: the design and construction of a superyacht powered solely by green methanol. The generation of the power needed to sail at maximum speed will therefore no longer be tied to diesel engines, but rather will be based on a combination of fuel cells and internal combustion engines powered by green methanol.’

Bluegame, a Sanlorenzo brand, says it is developing other revolutionary projects embodying maximum sustainability: BGH and BGM65HH. The former will be launched in summer 2023 and the latter in summer 2025.

BGH has been chosen by the New York Yacht Club as a “chase boat” to accompany American Magic during the 37th America’s Cup, to be held in Barcelona in 2024. BGH will ‘fly’ at 50 knots on foils propelled by an exclusively hydrogen-powered propulsion system, therefore with zero emissions exactly like the very fast racing boat it will accompany, but without the need for wind.

On the strength of this achievement and as proof of its design capability in the use of hydrogen in propulsion, Bluegame, through its agreement with Volvo Penta, will install the new pilot IPS hybrid propulsion system, which will be combined with hydrogen fuel cells developed from the America’s Cup ‘chase boat’ project. The BGM65HH (hydrogen-hybrid) model, which is scheduled to be launched in 2026, will house this cutting-edge technology.

The Sanlorenzo Group concluded the conference by saying it is reassured by the progress of ongoing projects, and is confident that its goals in the ‘road to 2030’ strategy will be achieved.