Zero-emission 'green submarine' will transport cargo between Scotland and Northern Ireland

Fully automated vessels will run on green hydrogen and will collect toxic microplastics to cleanse ocean

The proposed zero-emission submarine can cleanse the ocean of toxic waste by collecting microplastics. PA
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A company developing zero-emission submarines that could carry cargo between Glasgow and Belfast has been awarded a share of £23 million ($31.7m) in government green maritime funding.

The fully automated vessels are designed to be “net positive” by running on green hydrogen and can cleanse the ocean of toxic waste by collecting microplastics, the Department of Transport said.

A fleet could secure 27 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions in the first year of operation, the department said.

Another project that seeks to develop electric boat charge points connected to offshore wind turbines has also won government funding.

They would operate in a similar way to electric car chargers, with sailors plugging in, charging their vessel and sailing away.

The use of renewable energy in this way could be equal to taking more than 62,000 cars off the road, the department said.

The competition winners were announced as part of London International Shipping Week.

“As a proud island nation built on our maritime prowess, it is only right that we lead by example when it comes to decarbonising the sector and building back greener," Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said.

“The projects announced today showcase the best of British innovation, revolutionising existing technology and infrastructure to slash emissions, create jobs and get us another step closer to our decarbonisation targets.”

Dhruv Boruah, founder and chief executive of Oceanways, which is developing the submarines, said time was running out with regard to achieving emissions targets.

"It is imperative we don’t settle for 1 per cent more efficiency in an existing system, but instead radically rethink to create innovative solutions.”

Meanwhile, the UK’s greenest cruise terminal will open at the port of Southampton on Wednesday.

The Horizon Cruise Terminal uses solar panel roofing and charges ships with clean energy.

“Building state-of-the-art green infrastructure at cruise terminals helps us move towards cleaner cruising, creating more spaces for these ships to dock and putting us on track to hit net zero by 2050,” Maritime Minister Robert Courts said.

Updated: October 07, 2021, 12:06 PM