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New project will investigate net-zero ferry options

The University of Kent is leading a new project to investigate the decarbonisation of the cross-Channel ferry fleet. 

Currently, Port of Dover’s vessels spends energy through in-harbour activity, open sailing and on-vessel services, such as heating and lighting. 

In a seven-month project, the experts will analyse how much net-zero energy can be stored and delivered in-harbour. This will help to accelerate the adoption of hybrid or fully electric vessels in the Short Straits (Dover to Calais and Dunkirk) ferry fleet.

Insights gained may then have the potential to extend to cruise and cargo operators, as well as adaptation of experienced vessels.

The project, which is part of a £20m programme funded by the Department for Transport, will also support the delivery of the Port of Dover Air Quality Action Plan. 

blue sea under blue sky

Simon Barnes, project manager and funding & partnership development manager within the University’s Research & Innovation Operations, said: ‘For the University of Kent, this new project builds on previous successful work with the Port of Dover and is an excellent example of a collaborative project with the University, industry partners and consumers.

‘It is our unified aim to investigate potential avenues that can lead to reductions in carbon emissions as part of the national priority of net-zero. The University of Kent is dedicated to the endeavour through a series of initiatives, with the Dover Clean Ferry Power project as a prime example of the role we play regionally and in applying intensive research to vital national goals.’

Kent has previously worked with the Port of Dover on a Knowledge Transfer Partnership and has achieved the highest possible rating from Innovate UK after developing a range of Net Zero logistics solutions and helped reduce traffic congestion, boost efficiency and cut costs for the Port.

Photo by Niklas Weiss

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