Cox Marine joins SHAPE UK to demonstrate world’s 1st diesel-hydrogen fuelled outboard

British diesel technology innovator, Cox Marine, has joined the Shipping, Hydrogen & Port Ecosystems UK (SHAPE UK), a consortium looking to transition Portsmouth International Port into the UK’s first zero-emissions maritime hub.

Cox Marine
Image Courtesy: Cox Marine

As part of this project, Cox will be working with the University of Brighton to convert one of the company’s CXO300 diesel outboard engines to operate as a dual-fuel hydrogen engine and to demonstrate the engine operating in the port environment.

The conversion and demonstration form part of the wider SHAPE UK project which aims to demonstrate an achievable modular green hydrogen generation system within Portsmouth International Port (PIP).

Being the UK’s largest municipal port, PIP is committed to becoming the first carbon neutral UK port by 2030, and the first zero-emission port by 2050. The port also aims to become shore power ready in the coming years.

Maritime operations are paramount to the efficient movement of goods nationally and globally but are often high contributors of CO2 emissions and air pollutants. The adoption of decentralised energy systems offers the potential to support the necessary transition of ports and their operations to carbon net-zero operations.

Specifically, the SHAPE project will:

  • Address the viability of a local hydrogen infrastructure through the installation and test of a modular hydrogen electrolyser;
  • Demonstrate a use case for portside hydrogen through the hydrogen dual-fuel Cox outboard;
  • Generate a digital twin of the port as a tool to determine the economic and environmental suitability of deploying H2 systems within key stakeholder ports;
  • Assess the regulatory landscape around the generation and use of hydrogen in a port environment to determine where deployment can occur immediately and where regulations need to be addressed.

“I see the development of effective and useable hydrogen-based marine propulsion systems as essential if we are to drive down emissions while continuing to provide essential transportation systems,” Tim Routsis, CEO of Cox Powertrain said.

“This is an area where the UK is excellently placed to develop the technologies and infrastructure which will both reduce pollutants and give birth to a vibrant new UK-based economic sector.”

“The maritime sector as a whole and Cox in particular, recognise the need to make a positive contribution to the significant challenges of reducing worldwide CO2 emissions. From Cox’s perspective, hydrogen represents a highly promising option for the reduction of marine CO2 emissions, and we are delighted to be a part of this exciting project,” James Eatwell, Head of Research and Development for Cox Powertrain and SHAPE project lead for Cox, commented.

SHAPE UK project was named as one of the winning projects of the £23 million Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition, funded by the Department for Transport, to propel the government’s commitment to have zero emission ships operating commercially by 2025 and establishing the UK as world leaders in clean maritime.

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