A green hydrogen submarine underwater transport system developed by a company led by an Indian-born CEO was named among the winners of the UK government’s clean maritime demonstration competition on Wednesday. Dhruv Boruah’s Oceanways has secured support from the £ 23million government-funded research and development (R&D) program with its concept of a fully automated, green hydrogen-powered fully-automated net submarine fleet could help to clean the oceans of toxic pollution by collecting microplastics on its pilot route between Glasgow in Scotland and Belfast in Northern Ireland. When transporting cargo, the fleet could achieve significant savings in emissions of 27 tonnes of carbon dioxide or CO2 in the first year of operation, with an overall mission of reducing 300 million tonnes of CO2 as the fleet grows. “We would like to thank our Secretary of Transportation, Grant Shapps MP, for choosing Oceanways to support the Department of Transportation’s mission to decarbonize shipping and support our Prime Minister’s commitment to build back better,” said said Boruah, founder and CEO of Oceanways. “Time is running out and it is imperative that we do not settle for 1% more efficiency in an existing system, but radically redesign to create innovative solutions,” he said. The entrepreneur is convinced that the autonomous, or driverless, system may well be able to transport humans in the future, after its successful use to transport products. “It’s not just #JetZero. Oceanways has assembled a world-class team to launch #SubZero by creating the new market for net positive subsea transportation systems with zero emission cargo submarines as an innovative tool to decarbonize shipping and clean up our ocean, ”a he declared. Green submarines are expected to be in use in UK waters by 2026 and help tackle the challenges of freight traffic, including the shortage of drivers. Oceanways says it will serve short point-to-point routes with fast, emission-free delivery. He claims that submarines are superior to a freighter in almost every way: “Not only are they weather independent, can reach hard-to-reach areas, and are much cheaper to build and operate, they are also quieter, safer, more stable and cleaner, without fumes or pollutants. ” “As a proud island nation built on our maritime prowess, it is right that we lead by example in decarbonizing the sector and greener reconstruction, “said Shapps, the minister who unveiled the winners at the ongoing London Shipping Week in Greenwich.” The projects announced today showcase the best of British innovation, revolutionizing technology and infrastructure existing systems to reduce emissions, create jobs and bring us even closer to our decarbonisation targets, “he said. The Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition government supports the development of innovative technology to propel Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s pledge to have zero emission vessels commercially operated by 2025. Also among the winners is an all-electric charging station connected to an offshore wind turbine . The charging stations will be able to power the boats using 100% renewable energy generated by the turbine. This offers potential savings of up to 131,100 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions per year – the equivalent of taking more than 62,000 cars off our roads. Similar to roadside electric vehicle charging stations, these will be operated by semi-automatic control, meaning sailors can dock near the wind turbine’s charging station, plug in, recharge , then navigate.
“With increased investment and closer collaboration with government, our industry can meet the challenge of leading UK ships in a green direction,” said Sarah Kenny, President of Maritime UK. “We still have a very long way to go, but today marks an important step on our journey to net zero,” she said. It comes as British Navy Secretary Robert Courts backed the opening of the UK’s greenest cruise terminal. The Horizon Cruise Terminal at the Port of Southampton in the south of England is the first of its kind, using an innovative blend of rooftop solar panels and clean energy dockside electric charging for ships.
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