Zero emission hydrogen USV design wins CMDC Round 2 funding

Press Release: SEA-KIT International has secured funding  through Round 2 of the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition (CMDC) to design a  hydrogen powered, zero emission Uncrewed Surface Vessel (USV). 


SEA-KIT, a leading designer and builder of commercially proven USVs, worked with clean  tech disruptor Bramble Energy on a successful CMDC Round 1 project to marinize a Printed  Circuit Board (PCB) Hydrogen Fuel Cell. This latest funding win will see the two companies continue their collaboration, implementing Round 1 outputs into a proof-of-concept USV  design that meets the performance, reliability and cost saving challenges of a fast-growing,  global marine autonomy market – with zero carbon emissions. 


The ‘Zero Emission H-Class Ocean USV’ project, scheduled to start in January 2023,  represents a significant step towards the commercialisation of clean fuel vessel technology. 


Ben Simpson, SEA-KIT CEO, said: “The CMDC2 funding win supports our continued efforts  to help the UK meet its emissions targets of reduction of carbon from shipping by at least  50% by 2050. This USV will be suited to deep water offshore operations as well as coastal  survey and the launch and recovery of ROVs. The combination of highly capable surveying  and inspection instrumentation, improved safety gained from uncrewed, remotely operated vessels and zero carbon emissions will make a very compelling alternative option for the offshore energy, defence and scientific research markets.” 


The SEA-KIT H-Class USV is a highly configurable design based on operational data and feedback from the company’s established X-Class vessels. Design work will be carried out in  accordance with the Lloyd’s Register Approval in Principle (AiP) process to ensure, as far as  possible, that the resulting unmanned technology will satisfy regulatory requirements. 


Vidal Bharath, Chief Commercial Officer at Bramble Energy, said: “Fuel cells provide an  extremely attractive value proposition to the marine industry, so it is with great pleasure that  we continue collaborating with SEA-KIT on the CMDC project. It’s the perfect opportunity to  demonstrate how our decarbonising technology can play a key role in the maritime industry’s  journey towards achieving net zero.” 


The Zero Emission H-Class Ocean USV project is part of the Clean Maritime Demonstration  Competition Round 2 (CMDC2) which was launched in May 2022, funded by the Department  for Transport and delivered in partnership with Innovate UK. As part of CMDC2, the  Department allocated over £14m to 31 projects supported by 121 organisations from across  the UK to deliver feasibility studies and collaborative R&D projects in clean maritime  solutions. 


CMDC2 is part of the UK Shipping Office for Reducing Emission’s (UK SHORE) flagship  multi-year CMDC programme. In March 2022, the Department announced the biggest  government investment ever in our UK commercial maritime sector, allocating £206m to UK  SHORE, a new division within the Department for Transport focused on decarbonising the maritime sector. UK SHORE is delivering a suite of interventions throughout 2022-2025  aimed at accelerating the design, manufacture and operation of UK-made clean maritime  technologies and unlocking an industry-led transition to Net Zero. 

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