UK Govt assigns £60 million for clean shipping

The UK Government is launching a £60 million (approximately $64.7 million) clean maritime competition aimed at helping finance innovative projects that can facilitate the maritime sector to cut its greenhouse gas emissions.

Shipping/Illustration; Image by Offshore Energy

The announcement coincides with World Maritime Day, which this year focuses on the theme of ‘New technologies for greener shipping‘.

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This is the third round of the clean maritime demonstration competition (CMDC), which will run from April 2023 to March 2025. 

The funding is part of government plans to back innovative businesses and reach net zero emissions by 2050.

As a result, UK companies will be able to bid for a slice of the funding to help spur the development of early-stage clean maritime technologies for wider use in the future.

“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,” UK Transport Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said.

This World Maritime Day we’re announcing funding to harness the best innovations the UK has to offer – proving that tackling climate change can go hand-in-hand with business innovation, job creation and supercharging economic growth.”

The winning projects from the second round of the CMDC, launched in May 2022, which saw £12 million shared between 121 UK companies, have also been announced today.

Among the winners are 3 projects exploring the development of green shipping corridors – zero emission shipping routes between 2 ports. These routes build on the Clydebank declaration backed by 24 states at COP26.

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The Clean Tyne Shipping Corridor consortium, the Aberdeen Harbour Board and ACUA Ocean hydrogen-powered North Sea crossing study, and the (GCSS) study between the Port of Dover and the Ports of Calais and Dunkirk, aim to support the transition to green crossings to and from the UK. This could create international agreements that would see only zero emission vessels – including ferries, leisure crafts and workboats – between the UK and other ports.

A project by Artemis Technologies in collaboration with Tidal Transit, ORE Catapult and Lloyd’s Register is receiving over £1 million to develop a green, 24-metre workboat to transfer workers to and from offshore wind farms.

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,” David Tyler, Commercial Director at Artemis Technology said.

The clean maritime demonstration competition is welcomed by the sector and will play a critical role in helping accelerate the UK’s transition to a more sustainable maritime future.

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

The UK Shipping Office for Reducing Emissions (UK SHORE) is housed in the Department for Transport and is dedicated to the decarbonization of shipping.

UK SHORE is implementing a comprehensive research and development programme, including the CMDC, working in partnership with industry to help build greener vessels.

“The maritime sector is of crucial importance to the UK, with more than 95% of our trade running through the major ports that connect us to the global economy,” Innovate UK Executive Director for Net Zero, Mike Biddle, said.

As such an important part of the UK economy, significant change is needed to ensure that the sector adapts to new, clean technologies, reducing maritime emissions.

“This latest, multi-year round of the government’s clean maritime demonstration competition builds on the success of the first 2 rounds, stimulating innovation to ensure the UK is at the forefront of this transition to make maritime greener.”

“Industry is rising to the challenge and co-investing with government to accelerate progress on clean maritime propulsion and infrastructure,” Ben Murray, CEO of Maritime UK, said.

If we move quickly, the UK has a generational opportunity to lead globally, exporting cutting-edge solutions to maritime businesses across the world.”