A Belfast Northern Ireland-based consortium (led by Artemis Technologies) was awarded a GBP 33 million government grant to develop zero-emission ferries. The new project also involves Bombardier, Belfast Harbour and local universities. The grant is expected to help fund the project for the next 4 years.
The shipping industries are a significant source of pollution, difficult to decarbonize. The project aims to create environmentally friendly, high-speed ferries, able to carry up to 350 passengers. It is based on a concept popular as electric hydrofoil propulsion.
Bombardier's Belfast operation is a leader in composite technologies that allows it to make light but robust aircraft wings.
According to Michael Ryan, chief operating officer of Bombardier Aerostructures, he was keen to expand the technology into other markets.
The grant comes from the national funding agency for science and research UK Research and Innovation.