Offshore Charging and Electric Foiling Vessels to Cut Emissions from Offshore Wind Operations

©Project partner, Artemis Technologies' multi-purpose, zero emission workboat foiling in Belfast Harbour. Credit: Artemis Technologies.
©Project partner, Artemis Technologies' multi-purpose, zero emission workboat foiling in Belfast Harbour. Credit: Artemis Technologies.

The UK-based Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult is driving forward decarbonization in the maritime industry after winning two projects in the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition (CMDC) round 2, funded by the Department for Transport, and delivered in partnership with Innovate UK.

The first ‘eFoiler-CTV’ project, is a collaboration between ORE Catapult, Artemis Technologies, Tidal Transit and Lloyds Register, to accelerate the design and engineering of a 24m electric foiling Crew Transfer Vessel (CTV), aiming for deployment and real-world demonstration by March 2025.

The second project, the ‘SOV Offshore Charging System’, will develop an offshore charging concept for Service Operation Vessels (SOVs) with prototyping and testing, driven by an industry consortium of ORE Catapult, MJR, Blackfish Engineering, Bibby Marine, and Clean Offshore.

David Cooper, Clean Maritime Regional Partnership Manager at ORE Catapult, said: “Currently the industry faces many challenges such as uncertainty on future fuel of choice, and the ‘chicken and the egg’ conundrum around regulations and supply chains for low emission technology. Projects such the e-Foiler and SOV Offshore Charging System provide a critical opportunity to demonstrate the use of new vessel technology that reduce emissions in offshore wind operations. These industry driven innovations will catalyse movement towards clean maritime technologies in the wider sector.”

According to ORE Catapult, by 2050, over 1000 SOVs will be required to service the European O&M market, causing a significant increase in emissions if current technology is used. Commercialization of innovations such as the e-Foiler and SOV Offshore Charging System could significantly decarbonize CTV operations.

Both winning projects follow the success of CMDC round 1 in 2021/2022. 

According to ORE Catapult, the initial eFoiler-CTV feasibility study concluded that the eFoiler-CTV was not only feasible but offered significant environmental benefits, enhanced performance, and an increase in CTV operational window. The SOV Offshore Charging System project builds on a previous CMDC project that successfully developed a solution for CTV charging, and attracted industry interest.

ORE Catapult will conduct market analysis to quantify emission reduction and vessel capability as part of the e-Foiler project and provide engineering and electrical testing support on the SOV Offshore Charging System project.

Leo Hambro, Commercial Director, Tidal Transit: “Tidal Transit has been very fortunate to be a part of two great teams in the CMDC round 1 focusing on Offshore Charging and Electric Foiling Vessels. ORE Catapult have been valuable partners in these projects, and we are very grateful for their support. We are also delighted to be in a CMDC 2 project for Electric Foiling Crew Transfer Vessels again with ORE Catapult and believe that the outcome of these DFT funded projects will bring about a significant shift in the maritime sector.”

Three percent of global greenhouse gas emissions come from international shipping and the route to net zero requires reducing these emissions. As both a potential producer and user of clean fuels, the UK’s offshore wind industry is in a unique position to accelerate broader maritime decarbonization, Ore Catapult said.

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