Above: Artist's concept of the rigid sales.
Nuclear Transport Solutions (NTS) has partnered with a renewable marine technology specialist as part of a sustainability project which could see revolutionary new sail technology used on its ships.
NTS’s shipping division has teamed up with Smart Green Shipping (SGS), a renewable systems design and engineering company, that is developing unique retrofit sails and sustainable technology for commercial ships.
The collaboration project, part of a two-year plan called Winds of Change, will inform future opportunities which could see the sails fitted to ships – significantly reducing vessel fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
The project is currently undergoing technical, commercial and environmental assessments and will run until March 2025.
SGS is currently developing a test centre in Scotland which will support the safety, technical and performance data required for any future installation of the sails.
Pacific Grebe, one of three specialist vessels in the PNTL fleet, is being assessed and a feasibility study drawn up to consider the practicalities of fitting the sails.
The fleet has an illustrious history of nuclear transportation, safely covering millions of miles to Japan, Europe, Australia, South Korea and USA.
Andy Milling, Marine Manager at NTS, said: “As owners of UK-flagged, high-quality specialist vessels, we’re committed to support UK shipping net zero initiatives. We’re excited to be working with SGS to address the highly complex technical challenges that arise from retrofitting wind-assist technology onto merchant vessels.
“Our motivation is to reduce vessel emissions whilst maintaining our high performance and critical delivery schedules. SGS has convened a group of highly experienced technical and commercial organisations to deliver the project and it’s exciting to see how we will implement this technology with safety, security and reliability remaining our top priorities.”
Di Gilpin, SGS CEO, added: “To have the opportunity to work with such a highly specialist ship and her deeply knowledgeable crew and managers, gives us an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the feasibility of retrofitting SGS FastRig wingsails onto ships with the highest safety standards.
“If we are successful this will give comfort to shipowners and managers that this technology will not compromise their strict safety protocols. Testing the FastRig on land initially ensures we iron out any technical glitches before installing on a working vessel. We are honoured to be able to work with NTS on this exciting project.”
The Winds of Change project is part of the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition Round 3 (CMDC3), funded by the Department for Transport and delivered in partnership with InnovateUK.