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ZEAS project - an important step in the development of the maritime sector

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Partners from seven EU countries will jointly design and develop a hydrogen-powered passenger ship that will operate in the Adriatic Sea

Opatija, January 2024. – ZenLab d.o.o., together with the company Lürssen Design Center Kvarner from Rijeka, the coordinator of the ZEAS project, and with 13 other partners from Austria, Greece, Croatia, Norway, Germany, and Spain, will design and develop a hydrogen-powered passenger ship that will operate in the Adriatic Sea. The total value of this project is EUR 18.9 million, of which EUR 13.5 million will be co-financed by the European Union under the Horizon Europe programme. 

The main aim of the ZEAS (Zero-Emission Adriatic Ship) project is to develop a hydrogen-powered passenger ship that will demonstrate a sustainable climate neutral fuel system. Through the project, a hydrogen refuelling station will be implemented onshore, and a digital twin system will be developed for predictive maintenance, control, and monitoring of the ship’s propulsion system, which will facilitate the use and maintenance of this technologically complex vessel.


Experts from seven EU countries will work on emission assessment, environmental performance studies, risk and safety assessment of the new system in order to determine the best environmental practices for hydrogen-powered ships, as well as determine the environmental impact of such vessels. They will also develop advanced digital technologies, including digital twin for monitoring, control and simulation and predictive maintenance solution enhanced with augmented reality systems.


As a partner on the project ZenLab d.o.o. will be mainly focused on Augmented reality and predictive maintenance – since the consortium will be in charge of ship design and selection of all the system components from scratch, relevant sensors will be selected to suit required needs and access to detailed equipment information. This will enable the creation of a preventive maintenance system enhanced with augmented reality visualization as an advanced tool which can be offered to the ship operator (Jadrolinija).


The coordinator of the project is the company Lürssen Design Center Kvarner from Croatia, and partners from Croatia are Jadrolinija, University of Rijeka – Faculty of Maritime Studies, Gitone Kvarner, Maritime Center of Excellence, Scan Projekt and Croatian Hydrogen Association, from Greece DNV Hellas Single Member, from Austria HyCentA Research, from Spain Tecno Ambiente, from Germany Chemnitz University of Technology, from Slovenia ZenLab, from Norway TECO 2030 ASA, while TECO 2030 AS and TECO 2030 Innovation Center from Norway are affiliated partners.


The project represents an important step in the development of the maritime sector because the introduction of hydrogen as a fuel significantly reduces the emissions of hazardous air pollutants. Diesel engines, which emit harmful environment pollutants during combustion, are still the most common in the maritime sector. It is for this reason that the emphasis is on the use of alternative fuels.


The development and construction of a hydrogen-powered passenger ship will contribute to accelerating the shift to safe use of sustainable climate neutral fuels in waterborne transport through a full scale on board operational demonstration of a new system powered by hydrogen fuel cells. The ship will be specifically designed to operate in the Adriatic Sea, which is known for its pristine environment and sensitive marine ecosystems.


Most of the funds for this project are provided by the EU, i.e. the Horizon Europe programme, which finances projects in the field of research, innovation, and digital transformation. ZEAS is one of three projects that are financed from the programme for research and innovation in the field of maritime industry, where the total allocation amounted to EUR 34 million.

Official website of the project 

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Let’s Work Together

ZenLab d.o.o.

Polule 77c, 3000 Celje

Beloruska ulica 7, 2000 Maribor,


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