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by Sofia Villegas
12 September 2023
Multi-million boost given to decarbonise the maritime sector

Above, Bibby Marine's vessel, which will developed in Aberdeen

Multi-million boost given to decarbonise the maritime sector

Multi-million boost given to decarbonise the maritime sector

Ten companies will receive a share of more than £80m after winning support through the Zero Emission Vessel and Infrastructure Fund (ZEVI). 

Cutting-edge projects thought to have long-term potential to reduce carbon emissions have been selected, with expectations they will release a zero-emission vessel by 2025. 

The announcement came at the start of the London International Shipping Week. Marking its tenth anniversary, this year’s event explores the future of maritime with decarbonisation and AI.

Half of the winners – located in communities from Orkney to Portsmouth – are based in Scotland including Aberdeen-based firm Bibby Marine Services, which will receive £20m from the scheme for its project “eSov” – a plan to deploy the first-ever ultra-low emission Service Operation Vessel. 

Other projects include Artemis Technologies’ inter-island electric ferries and an electric crew transfer vessel for offshore wind farms by Tidal Transit. 

Yesterday, Transport Secretary Mark Harper viewed one of Artemis Technology's clean vessels on the River Thames before chairing a roundtable at Downing Street with senior representatives from the sector. Maritime Minister Charlotte Vere will also attend the events later this week. 

Maritime minister Baroness Vere said: “The maritime sector’s drive towards a cleaner future goes hand in hand with the government’s plan to grow the economy and create new, well-paid jobs all over the UK.

“As a seafaring nation, it is in our national character to push nautical limits, and this funding will help to ensure the UK maintains its position at the leading edge of maritime innovation. I look forward to seeing all the industry has to offer over the course of London International Shipping Week.”

Creating hundreds of positions in research and development, ZEVI is also helping to enlarge the tech workforce across the UK, with projects such as Portsmouth International Port expected to offer over 30,000 jobs. 

Sarah Treseder, CEO of the UK Chamber of Shipping said: “Published today, our Value of Shipping report shows that 650,000 jobs are dependent on shipping with every job in shipping supporting 10 more in the wider economy. This welcome funding is a chance to build on this strong foundation and help shipping deliver further jobs, innovation and economic growth in all parts of the UK.”

As of 2021, domestic vessels represented around five per cent of national greenhouse gases, a figure higher than rail and bus emissions combined, according to a consultation by the UK Government. 

As a result, the government released a transport decarbonisation plan, outlining a commitment to refresh the clean maritime plans. The document which is believed to be released later this year.

First announced in February, the fund forms part of the £206m governmental investment into UK Shore. A programme that works towards making the UK a world leader in clean maritime technology. 

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