The UK government has awarded a consortium of companies multi-million pound funding to develop clean shipping techniques. Sea News reports that the “Hydrogen Innovation – Future Infrastructure & Vessel Evaluation and Demonstration (HI-FIVED)” consortium will develop hydrogen powered autonomous ships.
The consortium will be led by vessel makers ACUA Ocean, and clean fuel infrastructure providers Unitrove. They will work alongside other relevant parties, including the Port of Aberdeen, the University of Portsmouth, Trident Marine Electrical, Zero Emissions Maritime Technology, and Composite Manufacturing and Design.
Michael Tinmouth, COO of ACUA Ocean, said: “Delivering successful technology demonstrations is critical to de-risking future investment in maritime decarbonisation.”
He added: “This CMDC3 project brings together a consortium of innovative partners, subcontractors, and suppliers from across the maritime sector, who are all laser-focused on the need to reduce emissions and accelerate the adoption and commercialisation of new technologies.”
As well as developing a hydrogen powered cargo ship, the consortium will work towards establishing a green shipping corridor between Aberdeen and Orkney and the Shetland Islands.
Steven Lua, CEO of Unitrove, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to receive UK government support to enable real-world demonstration of the world’s first liquid hydrogen autonomous vessel and infrastructure.”
He added: “Having built such a strong consortium of eight fantastic partners across the supply-chain, we can have great confidence that we will deliver something truly remarkable.”
Marlene Mitchell, Commercial Manager of Port of Aberdeen, said: “We are delighted to be part of this transformational project, which is wholly in alignment with our green ambitions and that of the wider project team.”
She added: “Zero-emission fuels and vessels are an essential element in achieving decarbonisation within the maritime sector and green shipping corridors will play a key element in meeting the sector’s goals.”
The funding has been awarded as part of the The Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition (CMDC) Round 3, which is overseen by Innovate UK. The competition was established by the UK Shipping Office for Reducing Emissions (UK SHORE), as part of the drive to decarbonise the shipping sector.
The Department of Transport will invest £60 million into the scheme, which is designed to incentivise maritime engineering companies to research and develop cleaner shipping technologies.
Innovate UK encourages projects which develop infrastructure for all kinds of vessels, including freight, commercial, passenger, and pleasure vessels, and will consider any port or harbour in the UK to be eligible.
Professor of Maritime Fluid Dynamics Stephen Turnock, Head of the Department of Civil, Maritime, and Environmental Engineering at the University of Southampton, said: “We are excited to play our part helping understand the techno-economic challenges of how autonomous ships can help shift trade to zero-carbon ships and deliver coastal highways.”
Specific themes of the project include domestic green shipping corridors, low and zero emission technologies for vessels, and port and shoreside low and zero carbon solutions.
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