Smart Green Shipping Alliance partners with Drax and Ultrabulk

A group of companies from the energy and shipping industries have partnered to reduce carbon emissions from the ocean transportation of biomass fuel cargo to the UK’s largest power station through the design of a concept cargo ship equipped with innovative sail technology.

British electrical power generation company Drax, operators of Drax Power Station located in North Yorkshire, UK, is partnering with the Smart Green Shipping Alliance Ltd (SSGA), Danish dry bulk cargo transporter Ultrabulk A/S and naval architects Humphreys Yacht Design, to collaboratively tackle the issue of CO2 emissions from the shipping industry.

A £100,000 12-month feasibility study funded by InnovateUK, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) and private investors has commenced. The study will examine the potential of retrofitting innovative sail technology called Fastrig onto an Ultrabulk ship importing biomass into the UK for Drax, to produce renewable electricity. This study’s purpose is to find cost-effective ways to reduce the carbon intensity of the ocean transport required in the biomass supply chain.

The first six months of the study will focus on assessing the technical feasibility of the project, establishing the engineering parameters for retrofitting Fastrig technology onto ships; the next six months will focus on calculating detailed costings for the project and building the business case.

Depending on the outcomes of the feasibility study, the launch of the Commercial Demonstrator could be as soon as 2021.

By Jake Frith

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