Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL) and the University of Strathclyde have secured a £30,000 grant to explore clean maritime fuel.
The project will last for six months, looking into the technical, operational and commercial viability of using zero carbon fuels to power ferries.
It was awarded following a joint bid to the Department for Transport’s clean maritime demonstration competition (CMDC), which was launched in March 2021 to accelerate maritime decarbonisation in the UK.
The project, called Lifecycle Energy Solutions for Clean Scotland and UK Maritime Economy, is a feasibility study exploring the most effective solutions that will drive down carbon emissions from the maritime sector, but will also support sustainable economic growth and industry competitiveness.
CMAL’s team of ship designers, naval architects and marine engineers will work alongside marine academics and researchers at the University of Strathclyde to conduct a life cycle assessment on the viability of using ammonia, hydrogen and mains grid electricity for ferries.
The team will design business scenarios based on 23 ferries on 27 routes on the West Coast of Scotland, including highly reliable predictions of the costs and benefits of the proposed alternative fuel sources and a comparison to the use of diesel.
The project outputs will feed into CMAL’s future decarbonisation plan and will contribute to the Scottish Government’s ambition to increase low emission vessels in the ferry fleet by 30%.
John Salton, fleet manager and projects director at CMAL, said: “Carbon-free fuels are in the early stages of development across the UK maritime sector, but there are various views on the most effective ways for these fuels to be produced, distributed and used onboard for the clean shipping economy.”
Peilin Zhou, professor of marine engineering at the University of Strathclyde, added: “The use of carbon-free fuels, such as hydrogen and ammonia, for shipping are promising solutions for climate control.
“However, the sustainability and cost effectiveness of carbon-free fuels need to be investigated from a life cycle point of view.”
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