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£1.35 million boost for shipping design firm

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By Fiona Reid
Dumfries and West
£1.35 million boost for shipping design firm

A DUMFRIES design and engineering company is setting sail for more growth after securing £1.35 million of investment.

Smart Green Shipping is developing unique retrofit sails and technology for sustainable commercial ships.

And MOL Drybulk Ltd (MOLDB) and Scottish Enterprise have become joint investors in the company that is steering a course to a demonstration FastRig wingsail later this year alongside its industry partners at Peel Ports Hunterston Port and Resource Centre (Hunterston PARC.)

MOLDB is a 100% owned subsidiary of Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. (MOL), a shipping company headquartered in Japan with global operations.

President and representative director Kazuhiko Kikuchi said: “MOL is committed to decarbonisation within our industry and Scotland is at the forefront of many environmentally friendly solutions, whilst our investment in Smart Green Shipping furthers our commitment to the UK.”

Smart Green Shipping received a £1.8million grant from Scottish Enterprise last year towards a £5 million research and development project, match-funded by the private sector.

The latest investment further supports the company’s growth and Kerry Sharp from Scottish Enterprise said: “Our investment alongside MOLDB will encourage innovation and growth in an exciting Scottish-based company with international potential that is creating jobs and sustainable shipping solutions, vital for a greener economy. I look forward to seeing its demonstrator FastRig tested at Hunterston PARC as we work with the company on its growth.”

Smart Green Shipping is developing solutions to enable the reduction of emissions from certain ship types by at least 20 per cent as forecast via tests supported by the Innovate UK programme on a large commercial cargo ship.

Their FastRig wingsail technology is enabled by a fuel saving prediction tool, supported by the European Space Agency business incubation centre.

The company has progressed its project from its base in Dumfries working alongside Caley Ocean Systems and Malin in Glasgow and will retrofit its technology onto ships for commercial demonstration next year following a testing phase.

Smart Green Shipping has also recently been nominated for an Earthshot Prize through involvement with the Solar Impulse Foundation and stemming from work around COP26.

Chief executive Diane Gilpin said: “Wind-assist is the only technology that can support global shipping’s GHG reduction in line with International Panel on Climate Change advice – emissions must start reducing rapidly if we are to avoid temperature increases of more than 1.5 degrees.

“The shipping industry knows this and with the introduction of various new emission reduction regulations this year and next there is a strong interest for FastRigs. Having MOL on-board is a real benefit for us, they bring deep market and operational knowledge.”

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