The moves to look at alternative propulsion for smaller boats is not confined to the fishing industry. British diesel-outboard builder Cox Marine announced last week that it had confirmed a partnership with the University of Brighton to convert one of the company’s diesel outboards to operate as a dual-fuel hydrogen engine.

The conversion is part of the Shipping, Hydrogen and Port Ecosystems UK (SHAPE UK) project, which aims to showcase a green hydrogen generation system within Portsmouth International Port. The project will test the viability of local green hydrogen infrastructure for maritime use.

The system will use a shore-based 35kW electrolyser that will provide the hydrogen to be used by the dual-fuel outboard. A 137 bar hydrogen compressor, 400 bar booster/refuelling compressor and hydrogen refuelling nozzles will be installed to recharge onboard hydrogen cylinders on the vessel, which is based at Portsmouth Marina.

The project also includes comprehensive assessment of the regulatory environment for hydrogen generation, storage and use as a marine fuel.

This will help determine the locations where the fuel could be deployed immediately, an where changes to regulation might be required.

“I see the development of effective and useable hydrogen- based marine propulsion systems as essential if we are to drive down emissions while continuing to provide essential transportation systems,” said Tim Routsis, CEO of Cox Powertrain.

“This is an area where the UK is excellently placed to develop the technologies and infrastructure which will both reduce pollutants and give birth to a vibrant new UK-based economic sector.”

The SHAPE UK project is run by Engas Global Ltd and the University of Portsmouth. Engas will operate the electrolyser and associated compression equipment, and the University of Portsmouth’s faculty will provide technical expertise.

This story was taken from the latest issue of Fishing News. For more up-to-date and in-depth reports on the UK and Irish commercial fishing sector, subscribe to Fishing News here or buy the latest single issue for just £3.30 here

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