News story

£80 million boost for coastal communities and green shipping as London International Shipping Week gets underway

Winners of the Zero Emission Vessel and Infrastructure fund will generate maritime jobs and develop new, clean technologies.

This was published under the 2022 to 2024 Sunak Conservative government
  • government backs innovative companies in coastal communities from Orkney to Portsmouth with £80 million of R&D funding to boost clean tech and create jobs
  • comes at the start of London International Shipping Week, focusing on clean maritime and artificial intelligence to grow the UK’s maritime economy
  • part of the Prime Minister’s plan to grow the economy, creating better-paid jobs and opportunity right across the UK

Coastal communities across the country are set to benefit from over £80 million of government funding as the winners of the Zero Emission Vessel and Infrastructure fund (ZEVI) are announced – supporting economic growth and boosting the UK’s decarbonisation efforts.

Announced at the start of London International Shipping Week (LISW) – bringing together the world leaders in the maritime sector – the projects showcase the benefits maritime technology can bring to communities from Orkney to Portsmouth.

Whether it’s Artemis Technologies which is demonstrating inter-island electric ferries, helping boost regional connectivity and economic opportunity, or Tidal Transit Ltd, which is electrifying a crew transfer vessel for offshore wind farms and enabling greener sustainable energy, today’s winners have a crucial role to play in cleaning up the sector’s reliance on fossil fuels.

Transport Secretary Mark Harper said:

London International Shipping Week is the perfect time to showcase the work we’re doing to generate maritime jobs across the country and develop new, clean technologies.

Today’s winners are at the cutting edge of the nation’s maritime industry – a crucial part of this government’s plan to grow the economy, creating better-paid jobs and opportunity right across the UK.

Maritime Minister Baroness Vere said:

The maritime sector’s drive towards a cleaner future goes hand in hand with the government’s plan to grow the economy and create new, well-paid jobs all over the UK.

As a seafaring nation, it is in our national character to push nautical limits and this funding will help to ensure the UK maintains its position at the leading edge of maritime innovation. I look forward to seeing all the industry has to offer over the course of London International Shipping Week.

London International Shipping Week, which runs from 11 September to 15 September, is one of the most important international shipping and maritime events in the world.

Having grown consistently – and rapidly – since its conception in September 2013, this year’s event is the 10th anniversary and will explore the future of maritime with decarbonisation and the influx of artificial intelligence.

The Transport Secretary will view one of Artemis Technologies’ clean vessels on the River Thames this morning, before chairing a roundtable at No. 10 Downing Street with senior representatives from maritime, technology and academia on artificial intelligence in maritime and the opportunities it presents for economic growth.

The Maritime Minister will also be attending events throughout the week.

Sarah Treseder, CEO of UK Chamber of Shipping, said:

The number of applications meant hard decisions had to be made but shows the strong desire to reduce emissions across the sector and the successful projects will be a crucial element in the journey to net zero.

Published today, our Value of Shipping report shows that 650,000 jobs are dependent on shipping with every job in shipping supporting 10 more in the wider economy. This welcome funding is a chance to build on this strong foundation and help shipping deliver further jobs, innovation and economic growth in all parts of the UK.

Maritime UK CEO, Chris Shirling-Rooke, said:

Britain has always been an island of maritime pioneers. The winners of today’s fund and the global leadership on show during London International Shipping Week shows this tradition will continue long into the future.

But while London hosts maritime leaders across the world, our coastal communities play an equally significant part in this story. They are the UK’s gateways to the world and through maritime they can have a high-tech and highly skilled future as engine rooms of our green industrial revolution.

The industry is working closer than ever with government to decarbonise, drive economic growth and ensure we remain the world’s natural home for maritime.

The multi-million-pound ZEVI fund, launched in February, is designed to take tech from the factory to the sea by supporting projects that have a long-term impact in reducing carbon emissions.

Successful projects must show they could use this money to work with major UK ports and operators to launch a zero-emission vessel by 2025 at the latest.

One project on the south coast of England, the Zero Emission Network of Workboats, claims their work will deliver savings of 1,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) over the span of the 3-year demonstration. That’s a saving equivalent to 113,000km driven by an HGV – saving millions of tonnes of CO2 if implemented around the world.

Hundreds of jobs are being supported thanks to ZEVI with the resulting R&D helping the sector shift its energy source away from fossil fuels.

Portsmouth International Port has predicted the funding it’s receiving will help to deliver its 20-year plan and grow its employment from just under 6,000 to just over 40,000 while Collins River Enterprises has forecasted a boost in job numbers by up to 800 thanks to today’s funding.

Mike Sellers, director of Portsmouth International Port, said:

As a port owned by the people of Portsmouth, we have a duty to ensure that we grow sustainably and for the benefit of our local communities.

I’m proud of our ambitious sustainability goals and this project will see us be able to not only provide shore power for ships on 3 of our berths but also provide power for the hybrid Brittany Ferries ships coming in 2025.

We’re looking forward to working with the Department for Transport and Innovate UK to realise the full potential of this project for the UK and the shipping industry.

I’d like to thank my team at the port and our partners in the Sea Change consortium for all their hard work in getting this bid over the line. This is a ground-breaking project that will not only benefit the city and the wider region but also the planet, by slashing carbon emissions, improving air quality and providing new high-skilled jobs.

Christophe Mathieu, CEO of Brittany Ferries, said:

The arrival of 2 LNG-hybrid ships in spring 2025, will be the climax of the biggest fleet renewal programme in our history.

Upon arrival, the vessels will be good neighbours to those who live and work around Portsmouth, the busiest port in our network. Furthermore, thanks to ZEVI funding, their plug-in potential will be unlocked from day one and I can’t think of a better place to celebrate this fantastic news than the start of LISW.

The ZEVI fund is part of the UK SHORE programme, launched in March 2022 with £206 million in funding. UK SHORE aims to tackle shipping emissions and advance the UK towards a sustainable shipping future.

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Chris Heaton-Harris said:

As we look forward to the innovation which will be showcased at this week’s Northern Ireland Investment Summit, I am delighted to see innovative Belfast company Artemis Technologies receive this funding.

I am a huge admirer of their ambition to decarbonise maritime transport as they build on Belfast’s maritime heritage and world-leading expertise in advanced manufacturing and renewable energy.

Their project ‘Electric Orkney’ aims to decarbonise inter-island transport through the commissioning of two Artemis 100% electric foiling vessels and charging infrastructure.

They are one of the global titans in developing sustainable maritime solutions and this project will play a crucial role in the UK Government’s net-zero commitments.

UK Government Minister for Scotland John Lamont said:

The UK has a proud maritime history and it’s great to see Scotland at the heart of so many of these innovative projects. The £49.6 million of UK Government funding will benefit communities in Orkney – with 2 new electric ferries – and Aberdeen through the introduction of low carbon technology to its maritime sector. The environment, connectivity and economic growth will all benefit from this substantial investment.

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Published 11 September 2023