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The funding will enable them to adapt their zero emission propulsion systems to the large sizes required for the global shipping industry. It is a joint collaborative project between Ecomar Propulsion, Singapore-based marine battery supplier Durapower, and The University of Exeter.
Directors Anthony Bennett and Eugene Bari both have an extensive marine background and recognised the commercial and environmental advantages of applying electric and battery technology to improve the marine environment. This led to the formation of Ecomar Propulsion and they began working on a feasibility study with the University of Exeter.
Senior Executive Director at Ecomar Propulsion, Anthony Bennett said of the project, “Marine is one of the most polluting types of transport in the world and we want to help change that. Our engines are totally clean; we remove the diesel and petrol polluting engines from the vessels, and we install electric power trains driven by battery and hydrogen cells. This project concentrates mainly on the batteries – we normally deal with the 500 kilowatt marine market but for commercial organisations we needed a bigger system and began development of a one megawatt system. It takes huge investment to develop these systems, and without this funding, we wouldn’t have been able to develop the one megawatt system with our partners in Singapore so quickly.”
SETsquared’s Scale-Up Programme supported Ecomar with the provision of a professional bid writing resource to prepare the application, which in turn lead to them securing the Eureka Global Stars Award. Ecomar were also introduced to the Centre for Clean Mobility at the University of Exeter through the SETsquared network and they bid jointly for the funding.
Anthony continued, “It is our partnerships which have enabled us to progress so quickly. As this large one megawatt electric propulsion system is such a game changer within the industry we needed scientific expertise, and we were introduced by SETsquared to Professor Chris Smith, and his team at the University of Exeter who have given us the necessary academic rigour. You need the finance, you need the commercial imperative, and subject matter experts, but it all must be pulled together with an academic sense check, that’s what we get from our partners at the University of Exeter.”
Chief Executive Officer, Durapower Group, Kelvin Lim says: “We’re delighted to be working hand-in-hand with both The University of Exeter and Ecomar Propulsion to help electrify the engineering company’s propulsion systems with our high performance lithium battery solutions for future commercial applications, particularly for vessels. This funding is essential and will enable all parties to play a transformational role in the maritime sector, helping the industry eliminate or reduce the amount of carbon emissions produced by vessels of sizes.”
The next steps for the innovative Ecomar, are to continue to advance hydrogen power to recharge their batteries and develop the larger battery system with Durapower. This timely and important initiative will likely be welcomed by commercial fleet owners in the UK with new pressure from the UK Government’s Clean Maritime Plan, and similar aspirations from Singaporean authorities to have clean operating boats in Singapore ports and waters.
About Ecomar Propulsion
Ecomar Propulsion Ltd is a UK based engineering company working to reduce global emissions by creating innovative electric marine engines which aim to cut carbon emissions and millions of litres of fuel waste. Ecomar research, develop and produce high performance electric & hybrid marine engines which will be launched on the market in 2022. The two main products are inboard engines for commercial vessels, and outboard engines, with plans to develop hybrid systems for the shipping industry.
About Durapower Group
Headquartered in Singapore, Durapower Group offers closed-loop, end-to-end energy storage solutions for the electric mobility and renewable energy applications including on and off-road Electric, Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles, electric marine vessel and stationary energy storage solutions. Since 2009, Durapower Group has been a leading innovator of Lithium-Ion cell technology, focusing on the research and development of battery materials, of battery cell manufacturing and system integration. With a global presence spanning 20 countries and 45 cities, including China, Europe and Thailand, Durapower Group strives to make scalable, sustainable batteries that support the circular economy, empowering lives and transforming the future towards a carbon neutral economy.
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