A research and development project has been started by marine engineering company Ecomar Propulsion and the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS), which is operated by the University of Strathclyde, to bring the production of zero-emission electric boat components to Scotland.
With funding provided by the Scottish Inward Investment Catalyst Fund, the project aims to overcome a global supply chain shortage of electric outboard motors, which are currently manufactured in Japan.
By combining the expertise of employees from the NMIS and the Future Electrical Machines Manufacturing (FEMM) Hub – which conducts research into electrical machines and manufacturing – Ecomar Propulsion aims to make the UK a leader within the green energy sector.
Ecomar Propulsion is a manufacturer of high-performance electric and hybrid hydrogen marine propulsion systems and has set a company target of reducing maritime greenhouse gas emissions by 10 million metric tons over the next decade.
“We’re looking to establish a Scottish manufacturing base and revolutionize shipbuilding across the UK as we edge toward a decarbonized marine sector,” said Eugene Bari, CEO, Ecomar Propulsion. “The UK shipping industry has historically been seen as a polluter but there is a real potential for clean boats in Scotland.
“Alongside the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland, and with support from Scottish Enterprise and the University of Strathclyde, we’re benefiting from a rich network of connections and tremendous expertise and academic knowledge. For the next generation of outboard motor, we need to establish a new, shorter supply chain and refine product development with sustainability at the forefront from the outset.”
“Our goal at the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland is to transform manufacturing in Scotland and the wider UK, helping to increase productivity, stimulate local investment, create jobs and strengthen supply chain links,” explained Gladys Benghalia, head of electrification manufacturing programs, NMIS.
“Using our expertise and knowledge of electrification we’ll support this project by identifying a clean and efficient supply chain for electric outboard motors. This means we will look to source the materials and produce the final product in Scotland, reducing our reliance on importing and opening up opportunities for new jobs within the sector.”