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Coastal Workboats’ Stornoway shipyard has started work on building the UK’s first electric commercial work vessel.

They will be collaborating with Dutch maritime energy storage specialist EST-Floattech after Coastal Workboats won funding from the UK government’s Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition (CMDC) 

The £9 million vessel will be a ro-ro and dry cargo transportation vessel on a twice-daily 45-minute ferry crossing between West Burrafirth and Papa Stour in Shetland. 

In addition to the onboard battery, EST-Floattech will supply a 1.200 kWh Octopus High Energy battery system installed in a 20-foot container to support the electric vessel’s charging.

EST-Floattech said it would work with MJR Power & Automation and Renew Marine to install the shore power technology, a version of which could also be installed onboard the vessel to extend its battery-propelled range. 

“We are proud to be contributing to lowering emissions in the maritime industry in the UK, working hand in hand with Coastal Workboats to bring sustainable, high-performance energy solutions to the forefront,” EST-Floattech’s Jelle Meindertsma said.

“Our collaboration on the E-LUV is a testament to our shared commitment towards a more environmentally responsible maritime future.” 

Coastal Workboats’ Chief Engineering Manager Luke Parnell added: “Our attraction to the Octopus Series quite simply comes down to safety. 

“EST-Floattech has produced a class-approved product that brings to market a level of safety unseen previously. In particular, the passive nature of the heat dissipation system represents a marked step forward in safety, particularly for an application in the marine environment. Given our primary concern is safety above all, the Octopus was the perfect choice for us.”

Coastal Workboats operates a shipyard in Devon and a state-of-the-art sustainable shipyard based in Stornoway Port Authority’s Marine Engineering Workshop.

The Goat Island shipyard is positioning itself as a market-leading sustainable shipyard. The facility is on a 10-year lease. The operation is expected to create 25 new jobs, enabling Coastal Workboats to focus on all-electric workboats for the ferry and aquaculture sectors.

The image is a digital render depicting the new E-LUV.

Image credit: Coastal Workboats