Further UK-based funding for Smart Green Shipping to help realise potential of retractable wingsail systems for shipping
Hot off the back of £1.8m feasibility funding from the Scottish government, and an undisclosed level of investment by Japanese shipowner MOL, Smart Green Shipping has announced further funding from the UK.
The company, which has a wind-assist design for commercial vessels, is one of 19 projects to receive funding from a £60m government initiative focused on developing clean marine solutions.
The UK Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition is aimed at showcasing the potential for UK-based industries to push forward decarbonisation and position the country in the race to develop a new set of commercial opportunities.
In the press statement from SGS, founder and CEO Diane Gilpin is quoted saying: “I’m thrilled that the UK is demonstrating ongoing faith in our FastRig technology, which holds the key to rapidly reducing emissions from shipping. Wind power, harnessed using sophisticated digital software and well-engineered equipment, is at present the fastest way for the sector to reduce fuel consumption and related emissions.”
The CMDC is from the recently formed UK Shore, (UK Shipping Office for Reducing Emissions) with funding from the Department of Transport.
The government has made significant announcements about funding research and commercial development of clean maritime technology in the last two years, including in March 2022 when £60m was announced for this latest competition.
Smart Green Shipping described FastRig as “an innovative retractable, recyclable rigid wing sail designed to be easily retrofitted to existing commercial vessels with available deck space.”
The company said wind assist solutions could be retrofitted on up to 40,000 existing vessels, providing sufficient fuel savings (and therefore emissions reductions) to make retrofitting economically viable.
SGS business model includes plans for a leasing arrangement based on verified fuel savings to ensure ship owners and charters can avoid certain commercial risk-based decisions that often hold up such investments.
The SGS FastRig “Winds of Change” project development is with a partnership of organisations including The University of Southampton, and project partners include Humphreys Yacht Design, Houlder, Malin Group, Caley Ocean Systems, Argo Engineering, Lloyd’s Register, MOL DryBulk (part of Mitsui O.S.K. Lines) and Drax.
Learn more about how the FastRigs technology and TradeWind solution works here