Commodity trader Gunvor Group has made an investment in Artemis Technologies as a part of the company’s commitment to developing nonhydrocarbon solutions to maritime transportation.

Image by Artemis Technologies

The investment by Gunvor follows the recent award of a £33 million ($ 44.8 million) UK Government innovation grant to the Artemis Technologies-led Belfast Maritime Consortium, which aims to develop zero-emission high-speed ferries.

The award pushed the total project investment close to £60m ($75 million) over the next four years.

Artemis Technologies, founded in 2017, is an applied technologies spin-off of the Artemis Racing sailing team, which competed in the 34th and 35th editions of the America’s Cup.

“Artemis Technologies is working on a number of compelling innovations that will help decarbonise the maritime sector at a time when there is growing demand for low-carbon alternatives,” said Torbjörn Törnqvist, Chairman of Gunvor Group.

“Gunvor has committed to reduce the carbon footprint of the commodities we’re trading and our industrial processes, as well as to explore relevant commercial opportunities. There is no silver bullet to the climate change issue. Many solutions are needed.”

Gunvor’s investment will aid Artemis Technologies’ development of a transformative electric hydrofoiling propulsion system, the Artemis eFoilerTM that will power “green” vessels of the future.

A hydrofoil is a wing-like appendage under the hull of a vessel. As the vessel increases its speed the hydrofoils lift the hull up and out of the water, greatly reducing wetted area, resulting in an order of magnitude reduction in drag, the company explained on its website.

Named the eFoiler Propulsion System (eFoiler), the system is based on the integration of an ultra high density electric Motor Generator Unit into an autonomously controlled carbon fibre hydrofoil. 

The vessels developed as a part of the Belfast project will operate with up to 90% lower fuel costs compared with traditional ferries, with the capability of carrying up to 350 passengers and produce zero-emissions during operation.

This Artemis eFoilerTM system combines technologies from the 13-partner Belfast syndicate, which includes a mix of companies within the maritime, aerospace, energy and automotive industries, as well as academic institutions and public bodies.

“With approximately 30% of ship emissions coming from domestic voyages, the maritime sector is under pressure to develop and adopt new disruptive innovations,” said Double Olympic sailing gold medallist and CEO of Artemis Technologies, Dr Iain Percy OBE.

“This means that reducing emissions on smaller domestic fleets, which typically make these shorter journeys, will be key in meeting net zero goals.”

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