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4 minute read - 9th June 2022

World’s first commercially viable electric workboat launched

Artemis Technologies, a global leader in green maritime innovation, has launched the world’s first commercially viable 100% electric, high-speed foiling workboat range. Developed and built in Belfast, Artemis says the zero-emission vessels are the greenest workboats on the planet and represent a £12m investment in research and development.

With a top speed of 34 knots and a range of 60 nautical miles at 25 knots cruise speed, the vessels produce energy savings of up to 90% compared to conventional fossil fuel workboats. Powered by its Artemis eFoiler® propulsion system, the workboats fly silently above the water, ensuring a comfortable gliding experience no matter the sea conditions and creating minimal wake, making them an ideal solution for traditionally busy waterways.

Aimed specifically at the global workboat and crew transfer market, the zero-emission vessels have been developed and tested on the world’s most advanced marine digital twin simulator located in Belfast. The company, which currently employs 60 people, is also developing a range of green transport solutions which it anticipates will create 1,000 jobs over the next decade.

Built in Belfast – Artemis Technologies has launched the world’s first commercially viable 100% electric foiling workboat / Picture: Artemis

Artemis Technologies founder, Dr Iain Percy OBE, said: “Combining our experience from the worlds of high-performance sailing, motorsports and advanced manufacturing, the electric propulsion system that we’ve designed and developed is an absolute game changer for the industry in terms of range, costs savings and minimal wake created. With hydrofoils that lift the boats out of the water, we are dramatically reducing drag. This is coupled with a submerged electric drivetrain that is exceptionally efficient, as proven through rigorous testing with our partners, confirming what we had discovered through our own onshore digital simulations.

“The ride comfort of a hydrofoiling vessel through a large seaway has to be experienced to be believed, offering a completely smooth journey whatever the sea state. This will allow engineers in crew transfer vessels or port operations to get to their destination and deliver their services without discomfort. This is only the beginning. As our vessels transform the commercial workboat and city-to-city passenger ferry sectors over the coming years, Belfast and the UK will be at the forefront, creating thousands of jobs across the supply chain and heralding a green shipbuilding revolution.

“With the global small boat market worth $70 billion, we are immensely proud to launch our first range of zero-emission vessels for the workboat sector, from which we have already received significant pre-market interest. This is a hugely significant milestone not only for us but in global decarbonisation efforts with the International Maritime Organization requiring emissions to be halved by 2050.”

Artemis Technologies’ full workboat range includes an 11.5m multi-purpose workboat and a 12m crew transfer vessel. A 24m crew transfer vessel is also currently under development.

The launch represents a £12m investment in R&D and is the first in a series of zero-emission vessels to be developed by Artemis – 1,000 jobs are expected to be created in the next decade / Picture: Artemis

The launch comes as a new Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) report, commissioned by Maritime UK, puts the economic impact of UK maritime at £116bn. With Northern Ireland’s maritime industry directly contributing more than £2bn to the UK economy.

Maritime UK chair Sarah Kenny, added: “As an island nation, maritime surrounds all of us, and its impact is felt in every community across the UK. We saw that during the pandemic, through the provision of vital supplies, and we are seeing it now as we bounce back. With maritime driving the net zero agenda and providing skilled jobs in all corners of the country. Artemis Technologies’ launch today shows our heritage as maritime pioneers will continue long into the future. But continued collaboration with government, and investment, will be the key to realising our full potential.”

Leo Hambro, commercial director, at Tidal Transit, which operates a fleet of purpose-built offshore wind crew transfer vessels in waters around the UK and overseas, concluded: “Having worked closely with Artemis Technologies, as part of the UK Government’s Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition (CMDC), funded by the Department for Transport, today’s launch marks a sea-change in how workboat operators will view electric foiling boats. Given the remarkable range, incredible speed and comfortable ride, this workboat is truly a game-changer for our sector as it looks to cut carbon emissions across the industry.”

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