Ecomar Propulsion unveiled ground-breaking results of a research and development project which proves the technical and economic feasibility of achieving zero emission operations in offshore survey and research vessels (OSRVs).
The project which started in January 2023 involved eight partners and investigated innovative ship designs and integration with energy efficient hybrid drive train systems to increase overall ship efficiency resulting in significant reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and accelerating the transition to zero emission fuels. The results were presented at The Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition final showcase on 16 September at the Department for Transport’s Clean Maritime Day at London International Shipping Week.
The team have built a fully functioning 1MW hybrid battery and hydrogen inboard propulsion system demonstrator for a 46m windfarm support vessel. The project addresses key challenges and barriers of achieving zero-emission propulsion such as:
- Energy efficiency improvements of ship and integrated systems in light of transition from high energy fossil fuels.
- Significantly reducing GHG emissions of offshore renewable support activities.
- Integration of innovative drive train systems and control strategies for hybrid electric operations.
- Advancing development and justification of new rules and regulations relating to the storage, handling and operation of alternative fuels in the maritime industry.
- Accelerating supply chain developments, skills and education towards building world leading offshore support vessels in the UK.
The project was awarded funding under the UK government’s Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition Round 2.
Eugene Bari, CEO Ecomar Propulsion said, “There is already a requirement for thousands of similar vessels just to service the UK’s windfarms. Looking across Europe, there is demand for hundreds more and there is a huge global market. But the most important thing is tackling the climate emergency.”
“This project is already progressing to full production, and we have prospective orders and customers flying in from all over the world. The project proves that the technology is already here. If decarbonisation is to become a reality, we need to change our mindset from the art of the “possible” to belief that it is actual.”
Project Zero is part of the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition Round 2 (CMDC2) which was launched in May 2022, funded by the Department for Transport and delivered in partnership with Innovate UK. As part of the CMDC2, the Department allocated over £14m to 31 projects supported by 121 organisations from across the UK to deliver feasibility studies and collaborative R&D projects in clean maritime solutions.
The CMDC2 is part of the UK Shipping Office for Reducing Emission’s (UK SHORE) flagship multi-year CMDC programme. In March 2022, the Department announced the biggest government investment ever in our UK commercial maritime sector, allocating £206m to UK SHORE, a new division within the Department for Transport focused on decarbonising the maritime sector. UK SHORE is delivering a suite of interventions throughout 2022-2025 aimed at accelerating the design, manufacture and operation of UK-made clean maritime technologies and unlocking an industry-led transition to Net Zero.