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In response to a global call for the shipping industry to reduce its carbon emissions, Solent University is part of a research and innovation collaboration that has been awarded almost €16 million to look at the options for green technology in the maritime industry.

Enabled by funding from the Interreg 2 Seas programme (part of the European Regional Development Fund) and private investment the work will help the industry to lower carbon emissions.

Solent project lead, Dr Laurie Wright, says: “While shipping is the most efficient mode of transport per distance travelled, if the carbon emissions from the shipping industries were combined this would rank as the sixth biggest country for emissions in the world.  Until recently shipping has been largely absent from discussions on tackling climate change and air pollution. Now, policy makers, operators, owners, and others in the maritime industry are starting to take action.”

With 43 observer partners, the project covers the UK, Belgium, Netherlands and France. Starting in February 2019 the project will run until 2022, and aims to test and validate a number of technical tools and business models for the implemention of hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell technologies in ships and ports. The ultimate goal is the introduction of low-carbon shipping technologies in a very conservative sector. This project will pilot the following:

  • Construction of a CTV (crew transfer vessel) with hydrogen propulsion.
  • Retrofitting of a barge with a hydrogen-based propulsion system.
  • Construction of a new passenger vessel with hydrogen propulsion system.
  • Installation of hybrid configuration in a small inspection vessel.
  • Development of a hydrogen fuel cell module for use in various types of ships.
  • Concept of hydrogen bunker facilities for a port.

Partner organisations

Organisations Type Country 
Autonoom Gemeentebedrijf Haven Oostende Business development   Belgium
NV Economische Impuls Zeeland  Business support  Netherlands 
Solent University  University faculty  UK 
WaterstofNet  SME  Belgium 
Rondvaartbedrijf Zilvermeeuw bv  SME  Netherlands 
Technische Universiteit Delft  University faculty  Netherlands 
Université Polytechnique Hauts-de-France  University faculty  France 
GEO Aqua bvba  SME  Belgium 
Yerseke Engine Services BV  SME  Netherlands 
Hybrid Marine Ltd  SME  UK 
.solutions BV  SME  Netherlands 
Lloyd's Register EMEA  SME  UK 
Katholieke Hogeschool Vives Zuid  University faculty  Belgium 
Vera Cruz Shipping bvba  SME  Belgium 
Parkwind  Enterprise  Belgium 
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