Bibby Marine-led consortium seals UK funds for electric SOV

Bibby Marine and consortium partners have been awarded over £20m ($25m) in funding from the UK Government’s Zero Emission Vessel Infrastructure (ZEVI) competition for the construction of the world’s first zero-emission electric service operation vessel (eSOV).

The consortium, which also includes the Port of Aberdeen, Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult, Kongsberg, DNV, Shell and Liverpool John Moores University, is looking to deliver the eSOV capable of operating solely on 20MWh of batteries and dual fuel methanol engines for backup, along with associated shore-charging facilities.

The 90-m-long vessel will be built in the UK and is the first new vessel for Bibby Marine in five years. With nearly 40 GW of new offshore wind capacity to be added in the UK alone by 2030, between 62 and 149 vessels are estimated to be required. Bibby Marine said the eSOV will help accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy and learnings from this project should help inform and shape the learnings for the rest of the industry.

“Designed in the UK, the vessel will be a game changer for our industry – supporting its ambitions to turn the UK into the world’s number one centre for green technology, create jobs and accelerate our path to net zero, by harnessing the best of British technologies,” said Nigel Quinn, chief executive of Bibby Marine, adding: “The project will catapult our efforts for our own green future, resulting in Bibby Marine having one of the most advanced, efficient, and environmentally friendly SOVs on the market.”

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