OWGP awards £2.4m to eleven UK businesses and launches next funding round

The Offshore Wind Growth Partnership (OWGP) has released its latest Development Grant funding call, with £2 million available for UK businesses looking to accelerate their growth in the offshore wind supply chain.

Funding is available for projects that target at least one of the high-value focus areas identified in the recent Supply Chain Capability Analysis report, commissioned by the Offshore Wind Industry Council (OWIC) and OWGP.

Proposals should align with one of the nine supply chain categories that represent high value opportunities for the UK, including cables, substations and electrical design, steel fabrication, floating wind, development services, offshore services, vessels, blades and rotor assembly and Wind Turbine Generator components.

OWGP also revealed the 11 companies that have secured a share of the £2.4 million funding pot released in May 2023. EchoBolt, Insensys, Unmanned Survey Solutions, Encomara, Quoceant, Technip FMC, Plaswire, CRC Evans, London Marine Consultants, SeaRoc and Windscope have all been awarded OWGP Development Grant Funding to support offshore wind supply chain projects totalling £5m.

The successful projects have a key focus on improving capability, increasing competitiveness, and driving forward business growth within the offshore wind sector.

For more information and to apply for funding, visit

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State moves closer to purchase of €200m multi-role ship that will be largest in navy’s history

The purchase of the Irish Navy’s biggest ship in its history which will respond to humanitarian crises is set to move a step forward as information documents are to be issued across an EU platform.

The project has been in planning in the Department of Defence for many years but stepped up a gear with the recent Commission on the Defence Forces.

Sources have said the ship is anticipated to have a helicopter landing area on board as well as other possible facilities such as a roll-on-roll-off facility for vehicles like the Defence Forces armoured personnel carriers.

The project will cost an estimated €200m however it is understood that the exact cost will not be decided on until the completion of the tender process.
Sources, with a knowledge of the planning process, said that officials had spoken to several shipbuilding firms across Europe and wider afield either formally or informally.

It is understood that a number of those firms are likely to make their interest in construction known. With a potential date of completion hoped for 2025.

A source also stated that there will likely be an effort to award the build of the ship to a European firm with a dockyard in Poland the most likely location if the State opts for one of the EU companies.

It is understood that British ship builder, Babcock International Group which previously built a number of patrol ships for the Irish Naval Service would be a potential builder. Their offering would likely be their Arrowhead MRV.

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Multi-million pound maritime hub to boost career opportunities in Whitby

A £10 million investment will be made into a North Yorkshire town to place it at the forefront of the expanding offshore renewable industries and help to boost job opportunities for the local community.

North Yorkshire Council is starting a pre-planning consultation on a new Whitby Maritime Hub, which will provide training and certification opportunities for the maritime, marine and offshore industries, to residents of Whitby and the wider area.

The funding for the project will come from the £17.1 million that was given to Whitby as part of the Government’s Town Deal scheme which awarded the town as well as Scarborough a total of £37.3 million in 2021.

I am assuming that the plans also incorporate and support the tireless work of the existing WHITBY & DISTRICT FISHING INDUSTRY TRAINING SCHOOL LIMITED, that have done so much good for the sector and region over the years.

The consultation is now open and will run for four weeks, closing on Friday, February 9.

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UK to implement carbon levy on imported goods by 2027

Britain will implement a new carbon import levy on some products from 2027 to help to protect businesses against cheaper imports from countries with less strict climate policies.

The planned carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM) will apply to carbon-intensive products in the iron, steel, aluminium, fertiliser, hydrogen, ceramics, glass and cement sectors.

The charge applied will depend on the amount of carbon emitted in the production of the imported good and any gap between the carbon price applied in the country of origin and the carbon price faced by UK producers.

“This levy will make sure carbon intensive products from overseas – like steel and ceramics – face a comparable carbon price to those produced in the UK, so that our decarbonisation efforts translate into reductions in global emissions,” finance minister Jeremy Hunt said.

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Cammell Laird to build first new Mersey ferry in 60 years

Cammell Laird Shiprepairers & Shipbuilders Limited will construct the first new Mersey ferry in 60 years in a move which marks a major milestone for the shipbuilder.

The Birkenhead facility – which is part of the APCL Group – has put pen to paper with the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority on a deal which will see the new vessel designed and built exclusively on-site.

The state-of-the-art vessel will be designed to harness green technology, with a cutting edge Azi-pull propeller system for reduced fuel usage, along with a diesel-electric hybrid-ready propulsion system – with potential for future conversion to full electric propulsion as technology evolves.

The ferry will also have an exhaust after treatment system which will operate in excess of current UK & international standards to reduce harmful nitrous oxide emissions.

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UK supports moratorium on deep sea mining to protect ocean and marine ecosystems

The UK government has announced its support for measures designed to protect the world’s ocean and improve the conservation of marine biodiversity.

Ahead of International Seabed Authority (ISA) negotiations and a month ahead of COP28, the UK government has announced its support for a moratorium on the granting of exploitation licences for deep sea mining projects – which involve the extraction of minerals such as precious metals, copper and cobalt – by the ISA.

This means the UK will not sponsor or support the issuing of any such licences until sufficient scientific evidence is available to assess the potential impact of deep sea mining activities on marine ecosystems and strong, enforceable environmental regulations, standards and guidelines have been developed and adopted by the ISA.

The UK is an international advocate for the highest possible environmental standards and has been pushing the ISA to develop strong and enforceable environmental regulations, standards and guidelines on deep sea mining.

To support this, a new UK-based environmental science expert network on deep sea mining will be launched to gather scientific data and increase the effective use of the UK’s world-class research through cross-disciplinary learning. This will build on the independent evidence review on deep sea mining carried out by independent experts following a government commission in 2022.

The network will bring together the UK’s environmental science expertise to help fill the current evidence gaps on the environmental impact of deep sea mining and share internationally.

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Cammell Laird and A&P create global entity to further the group’s ambition of becoming a tier one contractor

Cammell Laird Shiprepairers & Shipbuilders Limited is joining forces with another shipyard owner A&P Group Limited to create a maritime powerhouse with a combined turnover of £188m.

With its shipyard based in Birkenhead, Cammell Laird’s most recent financial results showed annual revenues of £94m. A&P operates two shipyards in the North East of England and one in Falmouth in the South West. Its current turnover is also £94m.

Now both businesses will come under the umbrella of a new entity, APCL Group. The group will also include project management specialist A&P Australia and UK based Neway Industrial Services.

Cammell Laird and A&P already have a close working relationship and David Mc Ginley is chief executive of both companies. He will be CEO of the new entity.

This deal will not see a change of ownership of either business which will retain their individual identities. The ultimate parent company of Cammell Laird is Isle of Man-based Tokenhouse which is the parent company of ports and property giant The Peel Group.

This latest move means APCL will “stand before the market” as a much larger company. It will develop an “all of one” company approach to certain major contracts and will further the group’s ambition of becoming a tier one contractor.

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New £100,000 Maritime Mile Challenge Fund for Belfast creative and digital SMEs

A new £100,000 Challenge Fund competition has opened for Belfast’s digital and creative companies, aimed at animating the city’s Maritime Mile.
Developed by Belfast City Council’s City Innovation Office, in partnership with the Maritime Belfast Trust, the fund is part of the Belfast HUB-IN (Hub of Innovation) project.

HUB-IN is all about exploring how digital innovation can help to sustain, enhance, and preserve the rich and unique heritage along Belfast’s Maritime Mile which connects key attractions, sculptures and viewing points on both sides of the River Lagan.

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New marine fuel that could achieve 80% emissions reduction unveiled in Sweden

Swedish firm ScanOcean and Finnish oil refining and marketing company Neste Oyi have unveiled a new lower-emission DMA Gasoil for the shipping sector.

The new lower-emissions DMA is produced by adding renewable raw material into the conventional refining process and by using mass-balance the fuel attains high GHG emissions reducing benefits while maintaining the quality and specifications of the fuel to ISO 8217. The fuel is certified according to ISCC plus.
According to the partners, Neste Marine 0.1 Co-processed could reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by up to 80%, compared to fossil DMA Gasoil.

DMA co-processed with renewable raw materials will be available as bunker fuel on the Swedish east coast, Neste noted. Neste Marine 0.1 Co-processed DMA will also be available at the Södertälje ex-pipe facility together with DMA 0.1 and DMB 0.1, serving vessels in transit into Lake Mälaren.

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New subsidiary looks to capitalise on opportunities in the energy market

Harland & Wolff has established a new subsidiary in Aberdeen as it looks to capitalise on opportunities in the energy sector.

Harland & Wolff (Technologies) (HWT) will operate in conjunction with the listed group’s four delivery centres across the UK while working independently and directly with the company’s clients in other shipyards.

It is good to see that the vastly experienced Richard Davidson has been appointed with immediate effect as managing director of the new HWT subsidiary. H&W said Davidson brings with him over three decades of experience in the energy and maritime markets and has been instrumental in introducing and commercialising new technologies centred around propulsion and fuels.

In his last role with Echandia, Richardson was responsible for developing and monetising large scale battery technologies for the marine market.

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