Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Shipping Boss Calls for More Hybrid Ferries and Action from Government to Maintain Green Credentials

Climate Change Fight is Number One Priority
Shipping News Feature

UK – Along with many other countries Britain is making addressing climate change a top priority item, and now the UK Chamber of Shipping has announced that tackling the threat is its own number one target, with CEO Bob Sanguinetti visiting Wightlink in Portsmouth this week where he was taking a look at the company's state of the art hybrid ferry.

Last year we told how Wightlink were introducing Victoria of Wight into service to ferry passengers around the Isle of Wight as the first ship of her kind with hybrid technology. At the time of launching the Victoria of Wight used 17% less fuel than the next largest ship on the route, the St Clare thanks to her hybrid energy system which allows her to run partly on electricity when required.

Such technology is of course not restricted to dedicated people carriers, the RoPax ferries of AG Ems are being retrofitted with the technology and other companies such as Stena Line are employing similar tactics along with new builds. Speaking during his visit Bob Sanguinetti commented:

“At the UK Chamber of Shipping we are determined to do all we can to help tackle climate change. I wanted to see for myself how this great ship was doing its bit to reduce carbon emissions. If shipping is to tackle climate change, we need to see greater use of hybrid technology and I want to see more hybrid ferries being developed and used across the UK and the wider world.”

The UK Chamber of Shipping has called for a new Green Industrial Revolution in the UK to take advantage of the move to a cleaner, greener economy. With the launch of the Maritime 2050 strategy and Clean Maritime Plan, it says this has set a clear pathway for industry and government to work together to innovate and develop new technologies.

The Clean Maritime Plan will require all-new ships trading in UK waters, both international and domestic, to be designed with zero-emission capable technologies. The targets set are a huge challenge and the UK will need concerted research and development activity, led and incentivised by government, and supported by the industry, manufacturers, academics and innovators.

The UK Chamber of Shipping also believes new investment in skills, research and innovation and infrastructure will be needed so the UK can take advantage of future opportunities that will be presented by a move to a clean growth economy. Chief Executive of Wightlink, Keith Greenfield, welcomed the Chamber’s visit, and commented:

"We at Wightlink are proud to have England’s first hybrid energy ferry in our fleet. Victoria of Wight is key to our commitment to reduce emissions but also gives our customers a quieter and more comfortable journey across the Solent. We are delighted with our new flagship and she is already proving popular with islanders and visitors to the Isle of Wight."