EST-Floattech’s batteries for world’s 1st fully electric event vessel

Dutch energy storage systems provider EST-Floattech | Energy Storage Solutions is contracted to provide battery systems for the world’s first fully electric carbon-neutral event vessel, the Oceandiva London, which enters service on the River Thames later this year or early 2024.

The 86 meters long and 17 meters wide vessels batteries are charged by both green fast-charging shore power and onboard solar panels, with a biofuel generator as back up for longer excursions. The Green Orca system is made up of two lithium battery packs with a total capacity of 2.2 MWh.

The ship is part of the NET ZERO MARINE SERVICES (NZMS) program to decarbonise London’s river.

The new event vessel was designed for the British events company Smart Group Ltd by Amsterdam-based company Oceandiva – which operates similar ships in the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium. The vessel was built by VEKA Group of Werkendam, the Netherlands. Electrical system integrator Werkina Werkendam commissioned EST-Floatech for the energy solution.

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National Highways launches one of the UK’s largest ever purchases of low-carbon hydrogen to reduce the carbon footprint of the Lower Thames Crossing

National Highways has launched one of the UK’s largest ever purchases of low-carbon hydrogen, in a move that would reduce the carbon footprint of the Lower Thames Crossing, accelerate the construction industry’s shift away from diesel, and kick start the highly anticipated development of a hydrogen ecosystem in the Thames Estuary with the potential to grow the economy.

National Highways is aiming to buy the supply, storage and distribution of over 6 million kilograms of hydrogen to use on the project, which will replace around 20 million litres of diesel. Projects such as HS2 have trialled small hydrogen generators, however the Lower Thames Crossing would be the first in the UK to use the fuel on a large scale to power its major construction vehicles such as excavators and dump trucks.

The project also plans to use electric plant for static or slow-moving machinery, where a mains connection is possible and in smaller equipment where battery solutions are viable. Other renewable fuel sources and biofuels may also be used.

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London Gateway reports a 14% rise in volumes to consolidate its position as Britain’s second biggest container terminal

DP World London Gateway alone reported a 14% rise in volumes to 2,053,000 TEU – the first time it has ever exceeded two million units in a year, consolidating its position as Britain’s second biggest container terminal. Together with Southampton, the two terminals handled a record 3,850,000 TEU compared with 3,675,000 in 2021.

Ernst Schulze, UK Chief Executive of DP World, said: “We help trade flow across the globe and this outstanding performance shows our ability to deliver on our commitment to boost growth, support businesses, create jobs and improve living standards in the UK.”

“Within a decade, London Gateway is likely to be handling up to 30% of the country’s containerised trade. Its port-centric logistics park will be one of the largest in Europe, employing 12,000 people and underpinned by investment in a second rail terminal and a new fourth berth.”

“At Southampton, we are investing to future-proof the port by improving its infrastructure and introducing warehousing facilities for our customers. We are committed to expanding its capacity as well as making it one of Britain’s most sustainable ports.”

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Regeneration of former Coryton oil refinery site will create 5,500 new jobs and expected to add £350 million per year to the local economy.

Thames Enterprise Park, a joint venture between ALMCOR and Greenergy, has been given the green light from Thurrock Council for one of the most significant brownfield regeneration projects in the South East of England.

Thames Enterprise Park will revive the former Coryton oil refinery site, initially delivering 3.7 million sq ft of advanced logistics, advanced manufacturing and next-generation energy technology uses. It will create up to 5,500 new jobs.

The development is expected to add more than £350 million per year to the local economy ultimately growing to more than £3.5 billion. It will transform 412 acres of brownfield land into a new commercial district with the first plots expected to be ready for development during 2023.

The development will have sustainability at its core and will comprise state-of-the-art construction to the highest standards of energy efficiency. It will help occupiers to deliver on ESG requirements and feature next generation energy technologies that contribute to the decarbonisation agenda.

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Northleaf Capital Partners Acquires Majority Interest in Uber Boat by Thames Clippers

Global private markets investment firm Northleaf Capital Partners (“Northleaf”) has acquired a majority interest in Uber Boat by Thames Clippers, London’s leading river boat service, from AEG, the world’s leading sport and live entertainment company.

Northleaf’s acquisition brings new investment to support Uber Boat by Thames Clippers’ ambitious plans to deliver sustainable growth, enhanced infrastructure and greater economic development on and around the River Thames.

The news follows the recent announcement that Uber Boat by Thames Clippers is building the UK’s first hybrid high speed passenger ferries, set to launch in autumn 2022. Leading the way in passenger boat design, the new vessels make strides in improving the sustainability features of the business, as well as propelling innovation in the wider marine sector.

The hybrid design will allow the new vessels to operate solely on battery power while transporting commuters and sightseers along its route on the River Thames. The vessels will recharge outside of central London using biofuelled power.

Sean Collins, Co-Founder and CEO Uber Boat by Thames Clippers added, “For over 20 years Uber Boat by Thames Clippers has been at the forefront of innovation in river transport; our new partnership with Northleaf ensures this continues for the long-term. I am looking forward to working with Northleaf to achieve our vision for the future.”

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Woods Quay built by SME Maritime WG Champions has been shortlisted by the Royal Institute of British Architects for a 2022 Award

National Maritime partners Woods Quay have been shortlisted by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) for a 2022 Award, which will be announced later this spring.

Set within one of London’s most famous vistas; the curve of the River Thames at Westminster with panoramic views from the Palace of Westminster to the London Eye and St Pauls to the vibrant Southbank, the extraordinary Woods Quay built by National Maritime SME Working Group Champions and NSS Progress Board partners The SMS Group | Ship Repair | Marine Interiors | Marine Engineering | SC SQEP includes three hospitality rooms offering unique dining and entertaining experiences.

Kate Woods, director of Woods Quay, said: “Our new quay, twenty years in planning, represents a passion to bring the very highest levels of British design and construction talent to the Thames for the private charter hospitality market. My thanks to Architecturall, Marmus and SMS Marine for helping us achieve our vision and this acknowledgment against the very finest land-based architecture.”

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Those Terrible People on The Thames Helping to Drive the Blue Economy

Coastal and Maritime Tourism is one of the many different types of tourism that benefits the UK. Last week National Maritime had the privilege to look at this exciting venture hitting the Thames.

If you are looking to do something this Easter check out the Horrible Histories – Terrible Thames Tour a venture from award-winning theatre producers Birmingham Stage Company and National Maritime partners  Woods’​ Silver Fleet, a family-run Company of Thames Watermen since 1866.

Together they are bringing together their extensive experience of performance and river sightseeing tours to create an experience like no other.

Remember Singalongs are compulsory onboard!

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London Resort Planning Application Withdrawn over Tilbury Freeport Complications

Plans to build a new theme park – dubbed the UK’s answer to Disneyland – have been withdrawn.

The London Resort Company Holdings Ltd, the company behind the scheme, confirmed the news in a statement in which it said the Freeport status handed to the site in Tilbury was one of the reasons behind the move. The theme park was due to be built by the Thames on the Swanscombe Peninsula in Kent and open in 2025.

Despite the setback, The London Resort insists it will return with fresh plans in the future. Estimates suggested it would have cost £3.5bn to build the resort.

In a statement, its Chief Executive said: “In the best interests of the London Resort, we are withdrawing the current application; as a result of the classification of Tilbury as a Freeport which has meant revisions are required in moving the ferry terminal from Tilbury to Grays. We are working closely and collaborating with Thurrock Council on that matter.

“This issue, combined with the decision by Natural England to designate a brownfield contaminated site as a SSSI has impacted the project. We in turn have acquired significant land holdings as part of our mitigation strategy combined with our commitment to spend £150m on environmental improvements on the peninsula. These changes are considered material and as such require withdrawal and resubmission.

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Tier ones get to work on Lower Thames Crossing bids

Tier one contractors shortlisted for the Lower Thames Crossing roads packages have been told to start working on their bids.

National Highways has today formally begun the invitation to tender phase of procurement for its £1.9bn Lower Thames Crossing roads contractors.

The £1.9bn investment covers two contracts, one for roads north of the Thames in Essex and a second for roads south of the river in Kent. A third contract to build the tunnels themselves and the approach roads, worth £2.1bn, will be tendered in the coming weeks.

Contractors will be judged on their ability to strip carbon emissions out of the construction process, after the project was designated a pathfinder project to explore carbon neutral construction in the UK.

Contracts are due to be awarded in summer 2023, with construction planned for the following year.

The proposed Lower Thames Crossing includes the longest road tunnel in the UK and 23km of new road that would almost double road capacity across the River Thames east of London.

Shortlisted bidders have been invited to work up their bids, despite delays to the project’s development consent order (DCO) application.

National Highways – then Highways England – was forced to pull its original plans following feedback from the Planning Inspectorate in November 2020. It was then due to go in before the end of last year, but was held up after the government announced an expansion at the Port of Tilbury Forth Ports Limited which uses land original earmarked by National Highways for spoil.

National Highways now expects to resubmit its DCO application later this year, after holding a short consultation on construction changes enforced by the Port of Tilbury scheme.

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£1.3m awarded to a consortium led by Port of London Authority to enable Smart Maritime Land Operations for the Maritime Sector

A consortium of 8 organisations (1 Port, 2 SMEs, 3 Higher Education Institute, and 2 Research Technology Organisation) along with other supporting organisations, led by Port of London Authority have been awarded £1.3m as part of the Smart Maritime Land Operations Call, a Maritime Research and Innovation UK MarRI-UK initiative supported by the Department for Transport (DfT), United Kingdom (DfT). The grant will help develop a national #hydrogen highway network, integrating land, sea and port.

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