In a strategic move to reinforce the maritime industry’s pivotal role in the UK’s economic growth and sustainability agenda, significant funding allocations for projects spanning from Orkney to Portsmouth were unveiled at the commencement of London International Shipping Week.
Transport Secretary of the United Kingdom, Mark Harper, stated, “London International Shipping Week is the opportune moment to shine a spotlight on our endeavours to foster maritime employment opportunities nationwide and foster the emergence of innovative, eco-friendly technologies.”
Harper further emphasised, “The recipients of today’s funding are pioneers within the realm of the nation’s maritime sector, an integral component of the Government’s blueprint to invigorate the economy, usher in higher-paying job prospects, and unleash avenues of advancement throughout the UK.”
The funding in question is drawn from the Zero Emission Vessels Infrastructure (ZEVI) fund, a pioneering initiative launched in February of this year. Its core objective is to demonstrate the feasibility of collaborating with UK ports and operators to usher in a zero-emission vessel no later than 2025.
Sarah Treseder, CEO of the UK Chamber of Shipping, underscored the robust response received, revealing that the substantial number of applications necessitated rigorous selections. Treseder noted that this underscored the potent drive within the sector to curtail emissions, with the chosen projects forming an indispensable constituent of the voyage towards achieving net-zero emissions.
Among the prominent beneficiaries of this funding is Portsmouth International Port, securing a substantial £19.8 million for its ambitious Sea Change project. This initiative is poised to design, construct, and operate shore power systems catering to three of the port’s busiest berths. Collaborating closely with Brittany Ferries, the University of Portsmouth, MSE International, B4T, IOTICS, and Swanbarton, the port aspires to enable vessels to harness green electricity while berthed at the facility.
Portsmouth International Port Director, Mike Sellers, expressed his pride in the port’s bold sustainability objectives, affirming that the Sea Change project would facilitate the provisioning of shore power for ships across three berths, including the hybrid Brittany Ferries vessels set to embark from Portsmouth in spring 2025, all of which will be shore-power ready.
Further recipients of funding encompass Artemis Technologies, receiving a substantial £15.5 million allocation to electrify inter-island ferries in the Orkney Islands. This transformational project aims to replace conventional propulsion with electrification, advancing the maritime industry towards a greener horizon.
Additionally, Tidal Transit secures £6.4 million in funding to retrofit an existing crew transfer vessel for offshore wind farms, converting it to operate on 100% electric power. This ambitious retrofit endeavour, located in Aberdeen, encompasses both offshore and onshore charging infrastructure, aligning with the overarching ambition to enhance sustainability within the maritime sector.
These investments underscore the UK’s commitment to fostering innovation and sustainability within its maritime industry, positioning it as a global leader in the transition towards cleaner, more eco-conscious shipping solutions. London International Shipping Week serves as an apt platform for the nation to showcase its unwavering dedication to shaping a resilient and sustainable maritime future.
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