Ecomar Propulsion has unveiled the results of a research and development project into the technical and economic feasibility of achieving zero-emission operations in offshore survey and research vessels (OSRVs).
The project, which started in January 2023, involved eight partners and investigated innovative ship designs and integration with energy efficient hybrid drivetrain systems to increase overall ship efficiency – resulting in reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and accelerating the transition to zero-emission fuels. The results were presented at The Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition final showcase on September 16 at the Department for Transport’s Clean Maritime Day at London International Shipping Week.
The team has built a fully functioning 1MW hybrid battery and hydrogen inboard propulsion system demonstrator for a 46m windfarm support vessel. The project addresses key challenges and barriers of achieving zero-emission propulsion such as: energy efficiency improvements of ship and integrated systems in light of transition from high energy fossil fuels; reducing GHG emissions of offshore renewable support activities; integration of drivetrain systems and control strategies for hybrid electric operations; advancing development and justification of new rules and regulations relating to the storage, handling and operation of alternative fuels in the maritime industry; accelerating supply chain developments, skills and education toward building world leading offshore support vessels in the UK.
The project was awarded funding under the UK government’s Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition Round 2.
“There is already a requirement for thousands of similar vessels just to service the UK’s windfarms,” explained Eugene Bari, CEO Ecomar Propulsion. “Looking across Europe, there is demand for hundreds more and there is a huge global market. But the most important thing is tackling the climate emergency.
“This project is already progressing to full production, and we have prospective orders and customers flying in from all over the world. The project proves that the technology is already here. If decarbonization is to become a reality, we need to change our mindset from the art of the ‘possible’ to belief that it is actual.”