£206 million UK government subsidies for green ports, shipping, offshore

By Marek Grzybowski

The UK government has pledged £33 million to develop green shipping and ports. This is one of the tranches of the UK SHORE program, for which GBP 206 million was allocated in 2022. This year grants were awarded to 33 projects submitted by ports and shipping companies. They will be allocated to new technologies aimed at reducing emissions of harmful substances by maritime transport. They will also ensure that jobs in coastal areas are maintained and the local economy is stimulated, the British government emphasizes in a statement.
This is part of the British’s extensive efforts to promote a green economy. The total funding awarded under the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition (CMDC) is GPB 128 million. This is a range of actions to support the UK’s maritime industries in achieving a net zero greenhouse gas emissions economy for Albion.
The financed projects include initiatives by operators planning to build electric ships and port charging points for ships from quays. The package of funded projects is intended to support a program of activities “driving a new era of innovation in maritime industries for sustainable solutions,” the British government emphasizes.

 The Minister of Maritime Affairs, Lord Davies, announced at the end of January this year. a group of 33 winners who will benefit from government funding for the development and use of innovative technologies in ports and ships. He said it would “accelerate the UK’s transition to decarbonise the maritime sector, while supporting job retention in coastal communities across the country and helping to grow the economy in the long term.”
– The amount of £33 million was awarded to 33 projects in all 12 regions of Great Britain – informs the Ministry of Maritime Affairs of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The task of the entities that received them will be to carry out demonstrators of innovative solutions, factory trials and feasibility studies of ecological projects.

Eco-friendly fuels from Belfast
One entity may conduct several projects. For example, the European Marine Energy Center (EMEC) is involved in two projects that have received funding. One of them is the executive design and the other is the demonstrator design. The first project is led by Catagen. Its partners are: EMEC, Orkney Islands Council, Highland Fuels Limited and Belfast Harbor Commissioners.
The project envisages a technical and economic feasibility study aimed at examining the possibility of introducing an innovative technology for the production of clean fuel to the market. Its aim is to help decarbonise UK maritime transport. This is a continuation of the company’s previous activities.

Dr. Andrew Woods, CEO and co-founder of Catagen, said: “Catagen’s purpose is to ‘clean and decarbonize the air’ and we are achieving this through our innovative net zero technologies.”
Catagen, based in Belfast, used the grant obtained in 2022 to produce ecological hydrogen and e-fuels in a more profitable way than current methods. The earlier project was carried out with funds from the British Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) as part of the Net Zero Innovation Portfolio Low Carbon Hydrogen Supply 2 competition. For the next stage of the project, funding of up to GBP 12 million was applied for under both projects.
Catagen is a company spun out of Queen’s University Belfast. The company already sells its patented emissions testing services to global car manufacturers and has received approval from the UK’s Vehicle Certification Agency and Europe’s Applus IDIADA.

Apollo will connect the ship to electricity
The demonstration project is being led by Apollo, which is preparing to test its ship charging system at EMEC’s test facility in Scapa Flow, Orkney. The Apollo loader operates on the Pull And Lock Marine (PALM) connection system.
The Apollo solution will enable the ship to connect to a marine charging point. The idea is to increase the swimming range of electric ships. The CMDC project will involve a 14-day offshore deployment of the test rig on a moored platform at the EMEC test site. Device tests will be carried out at EMEC.
The operation will be carried out with the support of the operator Leask Marine. The idea is to configure the test platform and carry out the operation of connecting and disconnecting ships in various sea states. Mechanical and electrical connection systems will be tested in the marine environment.
Leask Marine’s participation is important because it operates on the offshore market. Therefore, it represents a group of potential customers. The opinion of the offshore vessel operator will be important in the commercialization of the developed demonstrator.
According to the ministry, “these initiatives position the UK as a leader in emerging clean marine technologies, supporting the retention of high-skilled jobs across the country and boosting the coastal economy.”
The funds are part of the fourth round (CMDC4), a government competition financing activities for the production of demonstrators supporting the development of ecological maritime industries. The funds focus on activities supporting the development of clean marine technologies, including the use of electricity, hydrogen, ammonia, methanol, wind energy and other technologies.

Chargers in marinas
Lord Davies visited the two winning organisations, Aqua SuperPower and RS Marine Group, in Southampton to see their pioneering network of electric boat charging points in action. Thanks to the funds received in the CMDC4 award, the two companies will cooperate on solutions that will use existing energy infrastructure to provide electricity to ships while they are in ports and marinas.
The UK Department of Maritime Affairs emphasizes that ‘Activating a sustainable maritime sector and the economic growth it delivers depends on cutting-edge technologies that will take it to the next level. The sustainability journey requires bold investment that will not only deliver greener shipping, but also highly skilled jobs across the UK.”
– Government funding is a key driver of cutting-edge technology, inspiring investors to engage in pilot incentives. CMDC4 builds on three successful previous rounds, which allocated over £95 million to 105 projects and attracted over £45 million in private investment, the Ministry emphasizes.
According to the government, “The continued need for financing highlights the industry’s strong interest in investing in a clean marine environment.” Financial support from the government has strengthened the partnership between the government and the private sector. It said the UK government’s funding was “paving the way for exciting innovations that will decarbonise the maritime industry”.

British Marine is proud to celebrate
Lesley Robinson, CEO of British Marine, said: “British Marine is proud to celebrate the achievements of its members who are at the forefront of sustainable marine innovation and are among the beneficiaries of a £33 million government grant in green marine technology.”
It is noted that financial grants are just one way in which the government can help. According to Robinson, the UK government’s funding could “help accelerate our industry’s journey to net zero and usher in a new era in maritime history.”
“Many of our members are pioneers in [putting into service – MG] electric ships and building charging points in ports.” This helps protect the environment and create jobs. These activities are an important part of the UK’s renewable energy program and its increasingly widespread use.
“We are thrilled to be witnessing this key shift towards a cleaner and more productive maritime future,” says the CEO of British Marine.
“The maritime sector continues to show strong demand for decarbonization, as evidenced by the 33 winning projects in Round 4 of the Clean Maritime Development Project Competition,” says Mike Biddle, executive director of Net Zero.
He said: “Today’s announcement shows that the UK maritime industry is committed to R&D as a solution to a global problem across the industry, and I am inspired by the ambition of our maritime innovators.” The projects selected in the CMDC4 round are the result of the experience of previous rounds.
In the development and implementation of innovations in maritime industries, the Ministry of Maritime Affairs received support from the UK Department of Transport and Innovation. The idea is to “show that the UK is a leading voice in the green transformation of the maritime sector,” emphasizes the director of Net Zero.
Current funding comes from the UK Shipping Office for Reducing Emissions (UK SHORE) broad program worth GPB 206 million, which was launched in March 2022. The Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition is one of many UK SHORE initiatives aimed at financing green technologies.
Last year, the British government announced a competition for eco-friendly ships and zero-emission infrastructure (ZEVI – Zero Emission Vessels and Infrastructure). The idea is to support projects at later stages of development. Responsible tasks related to the implementation of ZEVI are carried out by the Clean Maritime Research Hub. Its aim is to develop science and conduct research related to the use of green technologies in maritime industries.