A consortium led by Bibby Marine was awarded funding via the UK government’s Zero Emission Vessel Infrastructure (ZEVI) toward building the world’s first zero-emission electric Service Operation Vessel (eSOV).
The announcement was made on Monday at London International Shipping Week.
“We are excited to receive this funding and to work with our partners to launch the world’s first eSOV – the first new vessel for Bibby Marine in five years,” said Nigel Quinn, CEO of Bibby Marine. “This project is the natural progression of our decarbonization journey, which began in 2019, to find the right solution to achieve our net-zero goals.”
Bibby Marine will work alongside Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult, Kongsberg, Shell, DNV, and Liverpool John Moores University. With the award, ZEVI will match funding for the project.
The eSOV will feature a powerful battery system along with backup dual menthol engines. The vessel would be capable of operating off of 20MWh batteries. The vessel will also have associated shore-charging facilities.
The eSOV will help accelerate the UK’s transition to low emissions by the year 2030. Current projections show between 62-149 vessels will be needed to reach the 40GW of offshore wind in the UK by 2030.
“This project will strengthen and demonstrate the ability of UK industry as a partner in design, manufacture and certification of the 300 vessels of this kind needed in Europe by 2050.” said Andrew Macdonald, Director of Development and Operations at ORE Catapult.
Shell and DNV both shared further excitement about the project.
“The number of fully electric and hybrid vessels will surge over the next few years and continuing development on these technologies will be a key part of the maritime industry’s transition to a zero-carbon future,” said Lucas Ribeiro, Regional Manager for Region West Europe at DNV. “DNV is looking forward to combining our extensive technical, offshore, renewable and battery experience, working in ensuring a successful fully compliant and future proof vessel delivery.”
Alexandra Ebbinghaus, GM Marine Decarbonisation Shell, commented: “Shell is delighted to be part of this consortium, verifying the framework to manage maritime risk for the world’s first zero-emission e-SOV. This is an exciting project that will push the industry forward and help decarbonise short-sea shipping, whilst continuing to prioritise safe and efficient operations. We look forward to supporting our long-term customer, Bibby Marine, as well as strengthening our collaboration with Kongsberg Maritime, DNV, the Port of Aberdeen and other consortium members.”
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