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UK Awards $73M to Develop and Commercalize Green Maritime Technology

UK grants for green tech
Concept for hydrofoil ferries was among the recipients of the grants (Artemis Technologies)

Published Feb 15, 2023 6:24 PM by The Maritime Executive

In an effort to spur the development of commercial green maritime technologies, the UK government announced the awarding of an additional $73 million in grants going to 10 projects as part of the government’s ongoing Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition (CMDC). The projects selected range from a hydrofoil concept for workboats and ferries to a new power train, battery technologies, and wind-assisted propulsion.

The government launched the competition program awarding prior tranches in March 2021 and May 2022. A total of 55 projects across the UK were selected in the first group receiving approximately $28 million to deliver feasibility studies and technology trials in clean maritime solutions. The second trench awarded a further $18 million to a further 31 projects. During the two-year investment period, companies in each of the tranches are required to demonstrate that their concepts will work in the real world using the funding to move the technologies into demonstrations toward commercialization.

“The funding we’re awarded today will help to bring emission-free concepts to life and fuel innovation,” said Mark Harper, the UK’s Transport Secretary in announcing the third phase which will run through March 2025. He highlighted that the focus of the latest awards included hydrogen, ammonia, electric, and wind power.

To kick off the latest round of awards, Harper visited Artemis Technologies, one of the recipients of the awards. Artemis had also received funding in the prior rounds of the project and reports it will receive a total of approximately $7.2 million in funding. Based in Belfast, Artemis is using technologies adapted from the worlds of high-performance yacht racing, motorsports, and aerospace, to develop vessels that effectively “fly” above the water surface. The vessels produce zero emissions when foiling and offer energy savings of up to 90 percent resulting in significantly lower operating and maintenance costs.

Artemis has developed designs for crew transfer and workboats as well as larger ferries. The first CMDC-backed project will see Artemis Technologies team with international partners to develop, test, and deploy a 40-foot, 100 percent electric crew transfer vessel capable of transiting technicians safely from shore to turbine in seas up to five feet. The second project in this program will focus on the development and demonstration of a high-performance multipurpose eFoiler Platform system, suitable for operations in the luxury leisure or water taxi markets.

 

Artemis Technologies will test and deploy its electric crew transfer vessel (Artemis Technologies)

 

Another project being highlighted as a recipient in the latest round of awards is a research project led by AceOn, a UK battery specialist. They are receiving approximately $5.5 million for a project that launches in April to develop ground-breaking ways of converting crew transfer vessels from diesel to battery and hydrogen power. They will be looking at retrofits to convert existing vessels used for wind farm crews to sustainable fuels. A test vessel, the Princess Royal, a catamaran that is used to transport technicians to the EDF offshore wind farm in the North Sea, will be used to demonstrate the approaches to sustainable fuels.

Collins River Enterprises is also leading a program to build and test full electric ferries. The research will build on a project funded in the first round of the program which seeks to have electric ferries running on the Thames. Wing Tek working with the University of Bristol is developing Wings for Ships, a project to develop and demonstrate two full-sized prototypes of wind-assisted ships with high-tech sails. Another wind propulsion award goes to Windship Technology which is working on zero-emission bulkers and tankers.

 

Windship Technology is one of the wind propulsion projects receiving funding (Windship Technology)

 

Seabound Carbon and Lomar Shipping are receiving an award for their project working on carbon capture aboard ships. Another project, the Electric Seaway explores the use of electric power for ships including the development of an onshore charging network. The CHAMP 2 (Clean Hybrid Alternative Marine Powertrain) project seeks to demonstrate the benefits that can be realized through clean marine propulsion systems.

In addition to these awards, the UK government at the beginning of February announced an additional $100 million in future grants. They are providing $92.5 million in funding for a competition to identify projects which will have a long-term impact on reducing emissions. They are also funding a new clean maritime research hub. 

Transport Secretary Harper highlighted that the awards are contributing to the UK economy and creating new jobs. At the same time, they will continue to the UK’s goal to reach net zero emissions by 2050.