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Thursday, January 17, 2019 

The UK Government has launched its Clean Air Strategy 2019 to tackle air pollution, covering how the UK will approach tackling vessel emissions.

As well as large merchant ships, which come under MARPOL rules, numerous small commercial vessels operate in UK waters, such as workboats, small ferries, wind farm service vessels and so on. Chartwell Marine

Andy Page, MD of the Fareham-based Chartwell Marine naval architecture practice, which specialises in small craft and hybrid propulsion, has drawn attention to the strategy's aim of tackling the issue of emissions at UK ports.

Page said: "The Clean Air Strategy 2019 commitments are very promising for the sustainable development of the maritime industry - but the government now needs to clearly outline how it is going to help the industry tackle the issue of emissions at UK ports and meet the agreements put in place in conjunction with the IMO. The emphasis is now going to be on the Maritime 2050 and UK Clean Maritime plans to deliver coherent strategies for meeting these goals.

"In particular, funding and incentivising research into alternative vessel propulsion is going to be critical for ensuring that a focus on emissions reduction doesn’t come at the expense of a thriving UK maritime sector. Effective hybrid and electric propulsion isn’t as straightforward as swapping a diesel engine for an electric motor, and the R&D budget assigned to creating innovative new vessel designs will need to be extensive.

"That said, if managed correctly, tackling this challenge may present huge commercial opportunities for UK naval architects and shipyards. Emissions legislation throughout Europe, the US and Asia is driving increased scrutiny on vessel design, and it is in the collective interest of the UK sector that the Clean Maritime Council delivers on its promise to create clean growth opportunities.”

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