Ecomar, NMIS Launch Zero-Emission Shipbuilding Project

Ecomar, NMIS Launch Zero-Emission Shipbuilding Project

Marine engineers Ecomar Propulsion and the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS), operated by the University of Strathclyde, launched an R&D project that targets bringing the manufacturing of key parts used in zero-emissions electric boats to the UK.

The project, funded by the Scottish Inward Investment Catalyst Fund, aims to bring production to Scotland in order to “overcome a global supply chain shortage of electric outboard motors,” which are currently made in Japan.

Ecomar Propulsion is expected to tap into the knowledge of experts from the NMIS and the Future Electrical Machines Manufacturing (FEMM) Hub that is “leading research electrical machines and manufacturing to put the UK at the forefront of green energy.”

According to Ecomar Propulsion CEO Eugene Bari, the company is eyeing to establish a Scotland manufacturing base and “revolutionize” shipbuilding across the UK as the marine sector fulfills its plan towards a decarbonized industry.

“The UK shipping industry has historically been seen as a polluter but there is a real potential for clean boats in Scotland. Alongside the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland, and with support from Scottish Enterprise and the University of Strathclyde, we’re benefiting from a rich network of connections and tremendous expertise and academic knowledge,” he said.

Bari shared the need to establish a new, shorter supply chain for the next generation of outboard motors as well as to refine “product development with sustainability at the forefront from the outset.”

Furthermore, the NMIS plays a part in the High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult. The institute provides access to industry leading expertise and resources that contribute in “de-risking innovation, turning ideas into a reality and solving real world manufacturing and engineering challenges.”

NMIS Electrification Manufacturing Programmes Head Gladys Benghalia pointed out that their goal is to “transform manufacturing in Scotland and the wider UK, helping to increase productivity, stimulate local investment, create jobs and strengthen supply chain links.”

She added that with the use of their expertise and knowledge, they will support the project by pinpointing a clean and efficient supply chain for electric outboard motors.

“This means we will look to source the materials and produce the final product in Scotland, reducing our reliance on importing and opening up opportunities for new jobs within the sector…Scotland has a legacy for shipbuilding and together with manufacturers large and small, we can establish a more vibrant future for manufacturing and marine technology,” she noted.

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