World’s first green submarine amongst winners of the UK’s biggest clean maritime competition

Press Release: The first ever green submarine study has been named as one of fifty-five winning projects of a £23m Government funded R&D competition, announced today (Wednesday 15 September) by the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps in Greenwich, as part of the greenest ever London International Shipping Week.    


The Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition, announced as part of the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan for Green Industrial Revolution, is supporting the development of innovative technology to propel forward the Government’s commitment to have zero emission ships operating commercially by 2025 – creating hundreds of highly skilled jobs across the nation and establishing the UK as world leaders in clean maritime.  


A fully automated net positive submarine fleet, powered entirely on green hydrogen, could help cleanse the oceans of toxic pollution by collecting microplastics on its pilot route between Glasgow and Belfast. While transporting cargo shipments, the fleet could secure significant emission savings of 27 tonnes of CO2 emissions in the first year of operation, with an overall mission to reduce 300m tonnes of CO2 emission as the fleet grows.



Also amongst the winners is an all-electric charge-point connected to an offshore wind turbine. The charge-points will be able to power boats using 100% renewable energy generated from the turbine offering potential savings of up to 131,100 tonnes of CO2e emissions per year – the equivalent of removing  over 62,000 cars from our roads. Similar to roadside Electric Vehicle chargepoints, these will be operated by semi-automated control, meaning that sailors can moor up by the wind turbine chargepoint, plug in, charge up, then sail on. 



Announcing the winners in Greenwich, the heart of British maritime on the state-of-the art Royal Navy ship, HMS Albion, the Transport Secretary outlined how this is the latest in a string of Government initiatives aimed at cutting emissions in the sector as part of London International Shipping Week – including joining other nations in supporting a world leading absolute zero target for international shipping emissions by 2050.


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.”   


This comes as Maritime Minister Robert Courts supports the opening of the UK’s greenest cruise terminal. The Horizon Cruise Terminal at the Port of Southampton, Europe’s leading cruise turnaround port, is the first of its kind, using an innovative mix of solar panelled roofing and clean energy shore power plug-in charging for ships – pioneering the way towards greener cruising.


Maritime Minister, Robert Courts said:    


“As the cruising sector bounces back from the pandemic, it’s important that our environmental commitments are at the heart of everything we do.  


“Building state-of-the-art green infrastructure at cruise terminals, helps us move towards cleaner cruising; creating more spaces for these ships to dock and putting us on track to hit Net Zero by 2050.”   


Founder & CEO of Oceanways, Dhruv Boruah said 


“We would like to thank our Transport Secretary Grant Shapps MP for selecting Oceanways to support DfT’s mission to decarbonise shipping and aid our Prime Minister’s commitment to build back better. Time is running out and it is imperative we don’t settle for 1% more efficiency in an existing system, but instead radically re-think to create innovative solutions.


“It is not just #JetZero and Oceanways has assembled a world-class team to pioneer #SubZero by creating the new market of net positive underwater transport systems with zero-emission cargo submarines as an innovative tool to decarbonise shipping and clean up our ocean”


Paul Cairns, Managing Director of MJR Power & Automation said:  


“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 DfT and InnovateUK is crucial to delivering Net Zero Greenhouse Gas emissions by 2050 and we are proud to be recipients of their support.”  


The initiatives follow on from the Government’s previous commitments outlined in the world-leading Transport Decarbonisation Plan to explore the establishment of a dedicated function for creating zero-emission ship building and R&D for autonomous vessel sailings, under the function of UK Shore. 


Based in the Department for Transport, UK Shore will unlock the necessary industry investment in clean maritime technologies, tackling supply and demand side barriers as well as developing infrastructure and consumer confidence in clean maritime technologies.  

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