Flying on water: Zero-emission ships get ready for lift-off in UK’s £60million boost for green projects

Like a ship out of water: £1million is being given to help develop an electric hydrofoil to carry workers to and from off-shore wind farms (Picture: Artemis Technologies)

A £60million boost towards cleaner shipping is being announced by the UK government today.

Cruise lines, tanker operators, ports and the wider maritime sector are all being encouraged to play their part in slashing emissions with the third round of funding for the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition.

From today, UK companies will be able to bid for a slice of the money to develop green technologies for wider use in the future.

The announcement is being made on World Maritime Day in a speech by Transport Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan on HMS Queen Elizabeth in New York. The address to the Atlantic Future Forum is part of UK government plans to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

Video: Plans for a 24-passenger ferry that would produce zero emissions (Credit: Artemis Technologies)

She said: ‘The UK has always been a proud seafaring nation, and helping the maritime sector to be more environmentally friendly will mean it continues to play a key role in the UK’s economy for generations to come.’

Among winning projects from the last round of funding – £12million in May – were plans by Artemis Technologies in Belfast to develop electric-powered ships that ‘fly’ above the water, eliminating operational emissions and cutting fuel costs by up to 90 per cent by reducing drag. The company received £1million to develop an environmentally friendly 24-metre workboat to carry workers to and from offshore wind farms.

Artemis is also planning to use the hydrofoil technology on a 24-passenger ferry between Belfast and Bangor, Northern Ireland, from 2024.

How the zero-emission ferry could work (Picture: Artemis Technologies)

David Tyler, commercial director at Artemis Technologies, said: ‘Following years of underinvestment in research and innovation by the maritime industry, the sector is under real pressure to develop and adopt disruptive technologies if it has any chance of achieving the UK’s ambitious net-zero targets.’

Another winner was a consortium planning to create a ‘green corridor’ between Dover and the French ports of Calais and Dunkirk by securing international agreements to ensure only zero-emission vessels could use the route.

Today’s announcement follows the allocation of £206million to support zero-emission sailing and skilled maritime jobs as part of UK Shore, announced in March this year.

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