Green growth ought to be heart of UK COVID-19 recovery plans

Southampton Container Port Docks from Goatee Eling

Maritime UK highlighted the need for green growth as part of the UK’s COVID-19 recovery plan as the Maritime Research and Innovation UK (MarRI-UK) announced the results of its first funding call.

In total £1.4m has been awarded to 10 organisations as part of the Clean Maritime Call, funded by the UK Department for Transport (DfT).

“The current coronavirus crisis posed massive challenges for all parts of the economy, maritime included. It is vital that as we move to restart, recover, and then renew, we place green growth at the heart of our recovery plans,” said Harry Theochari, Chair of Maritime UK.

“As one of Britain’s biggest industries, and with a unique responsibility for moving 95% of all our trade, greening maritime must be central to the meeting the government’s net-zero targets,” he said.

A total of 55 submissions were made, with an eventual 10 project proposals being selected for funding. The winners were selected by independent reviewers on various criteria including their strategic fit with Maritime 2050, value for money and environment impact.

Kelly Tolhurst, Maritime Minister, UK DfT, said, “Our vision is for the UK to be a world leader in zero-emission shipping and we will continue to support innovative projects, such as these, that aim to make our air cleaner and create a healthy environment for generations to come.”

BMT is among those organisations with its Asset Leasing Models project which could be used to accelerate adoption on ships for certain Energy Saving Technologies (ESTs).

Relevant ESTs that are commercially available include wind assisted propulsion devices such as Flettnor Rotors.

ESTs are designed to improve vessel efficiency, lower fuel costs and reduce the pollution generated by shipping.  By understanding existing commercial leasing models in other sectors and industries, BMT hopes to harness best practice and provide a further economic incentive for ship owners and operators to adopt such technologies.

This project is part of BMT’s wider programme of clean shipping initiatives. The funding award to BMT totalled £27,160.53.

Other winners included Babcock Internationa Group, awarded a sum of £195,407 for its project titled “FC-BATShip Fuel Cell-Battery Hybrid Ship: Advanced power-energy management solution for zero emission marine propulsion systems”.

Green Fuel Research, Intrada Ships Management, Marine South East (Commercial) Ltd, Plymouth Boat Trips, RS Sailing, Signol, The University of Nottingham also received funding.

The Clean Maritime Call is a MarRI-UK initiative funded by the DfT. The grants will help to find innovative ways to develop technology to assist the UK’s transition to a future of zero emission shipping.

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