By Johnny Love, Project Manager, ORE Catapult and Global Offshore Wind 2021 Rising Star
Following on from my first blog about the alternatives to carbon-intensive fuels for offshore wind O&M vessels, here I’ll look in more detail about the projects that ORE Catapult is currently involved in to make clean maritime a reality and the role that one coastal community, in particular, will play in this decarbonisation revolution.
Simply put, ORE Catapult’s mission is to accelerate the creation and growth of UK companies in the offshore renewable energy sector. In our view, the clean maritime opportunity offers a great chance for us to do just that through the use of our unique facilities and research and engineering capabilities, allowing us to bring together industry and academia to drive innovation and commercialisation in this space. By acting now to support clean maritime, we’re supporting UK innovators and SMEs and working to ensure the UK continues to lead this innovative industry and that we gain the maximum benefit from it.
Our Operations and Maintenance Centre of Excellence (OMCE) in Grimsby has a portfolio of projects that aim to advance maritime decarbonisation. Earlier this year, in partnership with the Workboat Association, we delivered an innovation roadmap titled ‘Decarbonising maritime operations in the North Sea offshore wind O&M’ for the Department for Transport and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. This research report set out a possible pathway for the decarbonisation of offshore wind O&M vessels and was designed for use by policymakers, industry and investors.
Recently, our OMCE successfully won £3.3m in funding for five projects as part of the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition, funded by the Department for Transport and delivered in partnership with Innovate UK. The projects will convene industry, the supply chain and Government to address the policy, commercial, regulatory and technical barriers to achieving maritime decarbonisation.
Between now and the end of March 2022, we will be working hard with our consortium partners to deliver:
The National Clean Maritime Demonstration Hub project, which centres on the Port of Grimsby, is a fascinating prospect. Delivered by a world-class consortium, the project will produce a feasibility study informing a business case for infrastructure investment in Zero-Emission Fuels and charging infrastructure at the port. We plan to lay the blueprint for a unique national demonstration asset that can harness the potential of the offshore wind industry to act as a ‘springboard’ for clean-maritime innovation in the UK. We expect to deliver investment-ready plans for port-fuelling infrastructure and world-leading demonstration and certification support capability.
With Grimsby home to the world’s largest offshore wind O&M port, and with the significant mass of maritime operational activity supporting the offshore wind industry based at the docks, the town is poised to be right at the very centre as the clean maritime revolution, led by the offshore wind industry, is accelerated out to the wider maritime industry in the Humber, the East Coast of the UK and beyond.
Hear more about the role offshore wind can play in maritime decarbonisation at this year’s Global Offshore Wind Conference session: Driving decarbonisation in maritime and offshore wind. Or come and visit me at ORE Catapult’s stand #170.