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Teesside Company Celebrate UK Clean Maritime Competition Wins including Flagship Project

Posted on 16 September 2021

Teesside Company Celebrate UK Clean Maritime Competition Wins including Flagship Project


MJR Power and Automation – a Teesside based company- has been successfully awarded government funding for their offshore wind on-turbine electrical vessel charging system as part of the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition, funded by the Department for Transport and delivered in partnership with Innovate UK, as recently announced by Grant Shapps, Transport sectary, at the London International shipping week.

As one of the flagship projects to be selected, the grant will enable MJR to fast track the development and demonstration of the electrical vessel charging system and will lead a consortium of partners - Ore Catapult; Xceco; Artemis Technologies and Tidal Transit - each with expertise in their given field. The charge points will enable all electric crew transfer vessels and other offshore support vessels to connect in the field to a 100% green energy source generated directly by the offshore wind turbines for the effcient, safe and reliable transfer of power.

This new technology innovation will break down the existing range barriers and thus increase the uptake by vessel owners and operators with transition to fully electric and green propulsion systems, for retrofit and new build vessels. In combination with other field proven technologies, the charging system will be an important part for government and offshore wind owners and operators, to achieve their net zero maritime operations targets, and switch away from fossil fuels.

The ability to charge when in the field, will significantly accelerate adoption of current emission free propulsion system which will be a major asset for the decarbonisation of the UK and global maritime sector.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: ”As a proud island nation built on our maritime prowess, it is only right that we lead by example when it comes to decarbonising the sector and building back greener. The projects announced today showcase the best of British innovation, revolutionising existing technology and infrastructure to slash emissions, create jobs and get us another step closer to our decarbonisation targets.

Paul Cairns, Managing Director of MJR Power & Automation commented “We are delighted to have been selected as one of the winners of the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition, which will enable us to demonstrate our world leading technology for offshore charging of vessels, and our commitment to supporting decarbonisation of marine operations. The support of the Department for Transport/Innovate UK is crucial to delivering net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and we are proud to be recipients of their support.” 

The Offshore wind on-turbine electrical vessel charging system is part of the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition, funded by the Department for Transport and delivered in partnership with Innovate UK.

Announced in March 2020, and part of the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan to position the UK at the forefront of green shipbuilding and maritime technology, the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition is a £20m investment from government alongside a further c.£10m from industry to reduce emissions from the maritime sector. The programme is supporting 55 projects across the UK, including projects in Scotland, Northern Ireland and from the South West to the North East of England. As set out in the Clean Maritime Plan (2019), Government funding has been used to support early-stage research relating to clean maritime. The programme will be used to support the research, design, and development of zero emission technology and infrastructure solutions for maritime and to accelerate decarbonisation in the sector.

Simon Edmonds, Deputy Executive Chair and Chief Business Officer for Innovate UK, said “As the UK prepares to host COP26 in the maritime city of Glasgow, it is great that we can announce funding for these fantastic projects in the maritime sector that will help the UK meet its net zero goals. From this competition we saw a very high level of demand, we have seen the very best of British ideas from all over the country. It is clear that not only does the UK have a great maritime history, but also a bright and greener future too.”

As well as leading this flagship project, MJR Power & Automation will be a consortium partner for two further projects that has also successfully secured government funding. Further Project details below:

  • Offshore wind on-turbine electrical vessel charging system

This project will design, build, and test an electric charge point situated on a wind turbine. This approach will access the infrastructure already in place (turbine platform, electrical cables) to provide renewable electricity to vessels. As an eCTV ‘docks’ with the turbine a cable reel will lower down an electrical charge connection which will plug in to the vessel and charge a battery on-board. Although the technology necessary for this is relatively mature this has yet to be done before and so this project will need to develop standards, working practices and procedures in order to safely carry this out at sea.

Project Partners include: ORE Catapult MJR Power & Automation Ltd; OREC; Artemis Technologies; Tidal Transit; Xceco.

  •  National Clean Maritime Demonstration Hub

The project will conduct a high-quality feasibility study that, informing a business case for infrastructure-investment in Zero-Emission (ZE) Fuels/charging-infrastructure at the Port of Grimsby, at the same time as investment in operational programmes of work that will establish Grimsby as a national Clean Maritime Demonstration Hub (CMDH).

Project partners include: ORE Catapult; Wood Group; Lloyds Register; ABP; Infrastrata (Harland & Wolff); TP Group; MJR Power & Automation; ZEM-Tech; Rix; Workboat Association.

  • OWL Charging Vessel

This project will complete a detaileld design and operational simulation of a mothership charging vessel, hosting a number of electric CTV’s. The mothership will take the concept of in-field charging and provide a flexible solution capable of removing diesel emissions from offshore wind Operations and Maintenance. This project represents genuine architectural and disruptive innovation, by mirroring the availability of onshore charging into a system capable of functioning effectively in an offshore market.

Project Partners include: Aluminium Marine Consulting; ORE Catapult; Turbulent Simulations Ltd; MJR Power & Automation Ltd; Jeremy Benn Associates Ltd.

For further details, email: enquiries@mjrpower.com