The partners behind a project to design and build a prototype electric passenger ferry have urged caution after the project was awarded more than £3m by the UK government.
The £4.2million MorVoRen (Cornish for Mermaid) Project, an expert partnership from industry and academia, was announced as one of the successful Round 3 projects of The Department for Transport (DfT), United KingdomInnovate UK Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition.
It is led by National Maritime UK Marine Hydrogen WG chair and green engineering design team Marine Zero with FalRiver Ferries, Falmouth Harbour, Cornwall , PELAGIC DESIGN LIMITED, Solis Marine Engineering and the University of Plymouth.
The successful bid of £3,046,686 could unlock funding for more than 70% of the scheme – with the partnership needing to find the remaining 30%.
The partnership aims to operate a fully electric demonstrator ferry and powered buoy for the busy Falmouth to St Mawes route in the Fal Estuary which sees more than a million passengers a year on the water.
Marine Zero’s Tim Munn said while it was a “fantastic opportunity” there were still many hoops to go through before it went ahead.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for Falmouth and local businesses to lead the way in the decarbonisation of marine transport in the UK and globally,” he said.
“There are, however, many hoops still to pass through before MorVoRen can get the go-ahead – with the project currently going through Innovate UK due diligence checks, alongside an internal analysis of costs currently underway by the project partners.”
His sentiment was echoed by Toby Floyer, general manager of Fal River, who warned of other hurdles such as the state of Prince of Wales Pier, which needed to be looked at.