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Belfast Lough's Artemis Technologies Launch High-Speed Foiling Workboat Range with Zero Emissions

9th June 2022
The Artemis Technologies 11.5 metre multi-purpose-built workboat foiling in Belfast Harbour
The Artemis Technologies 11.5 metre multi-purpose-built workboat foiling in Belfast Harbour

Belfast Lough-based Artemis Technologies, the global leader in green maritime innovation, has launched to market the world’s first commercially viable 100% electric, high-speed foiling workboat range.

The first commercial vessels to be built in Belfast in many decades, are billed as the greenest workboats on the planet, have a range of 60 miles and top speed of 34 knots and can be recharged in one hour and create little wake.

The launch represents a £12 million investment in R&D and is the first in a series of zero-emission vessels to be developed by Artemis, led by two-time Olympic sailing champion Iain Percy, that will create 1,000 jobs over the next decade.

The announcement coincides with the publication of a Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) report for Maritime UK that put the value of the sector to the UK at £116 billion.

Developed and built in Belfast, the zero-emission vessels are the greenest workboats on the planet and represent a £12 million investment in research and development.

With a top speed of 34 knots and a range of 60 nautical miles at 25 knots cruise speed, the vessels produce incredible energy savings of up to 90% compared to conventional fossil fuel workboats.

Powered by the revolutionary Artemis eFoiler propulsion system, the workboats fly silently above the water, ensuring an exceptionally comfortable gliding experience no matter the sea conditions and creating minimal wake, making them an ideal solution for traditionally busy waterways.

As Afloat reported previously, aimed specifically at the global workboat and crew transfer market, Artemis Technologies’ electric foiling workboat range ensures robustness and reliability that has been developed and tested on the world’s most advanced marine digital twin simulator located in Belfast.

The company, which currently employs 60 people, is developing a range of green transport solutions which it anticipates will create 1,000 jobs over the next decade.

Artemis Technologies is a spin-off from the Artemis Racing team that competed in the America’s Cup of which its founder, two-time Olympic champion Dr Iain Percy OBE is a four-time veteran.

He said: “Combining our experience from the worlds of high-performance sailing, motorsports and advanced manufacturing, the electric propulsion system that we’ve designed and developed is an absolute game changer for the industry in terms of range, costs savings and minimal wake created.

“With hydrofoils that lift the boats out of the water, we are dramatically reducing drag. This is coupled with a submerged electric drivetrain that is exceptionally efficient, as proven through rigorous testing with our partners, confirming what we had discovered through our own onshore digital simulations.

The minimal wake caused by Artemis Technologies’ unique electric foiling system ensures optimal protection for the marine environment while virtually eliminating noise and air pollutionThe minimal wake caused by Artemis Technologies’ unique electric foiling system ensures optimal protection for the marine environment while virtually eliminating noise and air pollution

“The ride comfort of a hydrofoiling vessel through a large seaway has to be experienced to be believed, offering a completely smooth journey whatever the sea state.

“This will allow engineers in crew transfer vessels or port operations to get to their destination and deliver their services without discomfort.

“This is only the beginning. As our vessels transform the commercial workboat and city-to-city passenger ferry sectors over the coming years, Belfast and the UK will be at the forefront, creating thousands of jobs across the supply chain and heralding a green shipbuilding revolution.

“With the global small boat market worth $70 billion, we are immensely proud to launch our first range of zero-emission vessels for the workboat sector, from which we have already received significant pre-market interest.

“This is a hugely significant milestone not only for us but in global decarbonisation efforts with the International Maritime Organization requiring emissions to be halved by 2050.”

Artemis Technologies’ full workboat range includes an 11.5M multi-purpose workboat and a 12M crew transfer vessel. A 24M crew transfer vessel is also currently under development.

The launch comes as a new Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) report, commissioned by Maritime UK, puts the economic impact of UK maritime at £116 billion. With Northern Ireland’s maritime industry directly contributing more than £2 billion to the UK economy, a bigger impact than Wales, Yorkshire and the Humber combined.

Maritime UK chair Sarah Kenny said: “As an island nation, maritime surrounds all of us, and its impact is felt in every community across the UK.

“We saw that during the pandemic, through the provision of vital supplies, and we are seeing it now as we bounce back. With maritime driving the net zero agenda and providing skilled jobs in all corners of the country.

“Artemis Technologies’ launch today shows our heritage as maritime pioneers will continue long into the future. But continued collaboration with government, and investment, will be the key to realising our full potential.”

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, The Rt Hon Brandon Lewis CBE said:

“The talent and expertise at Artemis Technologies is leading the way in maritime decarbonisation and playing an important role in helping Northern Ireland and the UK reach our Net Zero targets.

“Artemis is making a positive contribution to the UK’s economy, supporting innovation and job growth through the development of zero-emission technology.

"I am delighted that such amazing technology has been developed in Northern Ireland and to have been able to see the eFoiler technology up close during a recent showcase in Belfast.

“The launch of this range of green vessels by Artemis Technologies is a truly positive step in the fight against climate change.”

Leo Hambro, Commercial Director, at Tidal Transit, which operates a fleet of purpose-built offshore wind crew transfer vessels in waters around the UK and overseas said:

“Having worked closely with Artemis Technologies, as part of the UK Government’s Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition (CMDC), funded by the Department for Transport, today’s launch marks a sea-change in how workboat operators will view electric foiling boats.

“Given the remarkable range, incredible speed and comfortable ride, this workboat is truly a game-changer for our sector as it looks to cut carbon emissions across the industry.”

Published in Belfast Lough, Boatyards
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