Bibby WaveMasters chart zero-emissions course

Bibby Line Group // 23rd July 2020

Did you know that globally maritime transport accounts for 3.5% to 4% of all climate change emissions; mostly carbon dioxide?

It is clear that efficiency improvements in fossil fueled vessel technology are not enough.

Bibby Marine Services is leading the way in this fight to protect the planet, after winning a grant to explore a range of zero-carbon fuel systems which could ultimately revolutionise the global shipping industry.

Bibby’s WaveMaster Zero C Research and Development Project will be supported by a grant from MarRI-UK, a vehicle for UK industry and academia to jointly tackle challenges.

Their Clean Maritime Call programme aims to find innovative ways to reduce maritime emissions and to promote the development of technology innovation in UK maritime.

Bibby will utilise the design of their award-wining fleet of Bibby WaveMaster Walk-to-Work Service Operation Vessels (SOVs) in the study.

The bespoke-designed WaveMasters deliver safe, high sea state access to offshore structures utilising a unique, high-stability hull design and motion compensated gangway to physically connect the vessel to the offshore structure.

The 90 metre vessels accommodate up to 90 people and can remain offshore for up to 30 days, mimicking larger trans-ocean shipping that require a single re-fuelling point; often the bottleneck to technology development.

Bibby is the only British Walk-to-Work SOV operator, so uniquely placed to lead this innovation for the UK Maritime sector.

Using the WaveMaster hull design as a basis, five alternative fuel concepts will be designed; biofuel, hydrogen, ammonia, methanol, and battery power. Each concept will be scrutinised from technical, environmental, economic and legislative perspectives, with each fuel assessed to develop a roadmap for successful implementation.

Rob Osborne, Bibby Marine Services, Innovation Engineer and Project Manager for the WaveMaster Zero C project said “SOVs are the vessel of choice in offshore wind farms, yet whilst new and highly innovative in their function, we now need to focus on their emissions. We can only do this by working with world class partners in a collaborative manner.

“I am very proud at the range of companies that we have brought together to drive this innovation forward. The potential of this project to revolutionise the way Bibby and other maritime operators work is very exciting.”

Stephen Bolton, Bibby Marine Services MD said “After over 200 years of continuous ship ownership, delivering the future of shipping is deeply engrained within the DNA of Bibby Line Group. Bringing the WaveMaster fleet to market has been a great continuation of this journey, and the next step for a zero-carbon future must be our sector’s combined goal, and I truly believe we have the right team to make a difference.”



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