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World’s first electric foiling workboat range launches as UK maritime reveals £116bn economic impact

The world’s first commercially viable fully electric foiling workboat range, developed by Belfast’s Artemis Technologies, launches today as the UK maritime sector reveals an annual turnover of £116bn, with forecasts pointing to a full recovery from the pandemic by the end of the year.

Artemis Technologies’ zero-emission vessels are powered by a 100% electric eFoiler system making them the greenest workboats on the planet. The system lifts the boat’s hull out of the water, enabling the ship to fly over the sea and subsequently minimising wake and noise pollution, resulting in a comfortable, quiet ride.

The range, which represents a £12m investment in R&D includes an 11.5m multi-purpose workboat and 12m crew transfer vessel with a 24m crew transfer vessel and a 150-passenger fast ferry also under development.

This new technology, with its unrivalled charge time of just 60 minutes, impressive range of 60 nautical miles and top speed over 30 knots, will assist the decarbonisation of maritime and provide revolutionary high-speed, zero-emission transport for the offshore servicing and passenger transport sectors.

In March, the government announced a refreshed National Shipbuilding Strategy, with the stated aim of revitalising UK shipbuilding. Artemis Technologies’ launch follows successful testing of the “Pioneer of Belfast” prototype and represents a clear example of what this future could look like, with yards across the UK specialising in green vessels and technological solutions.

Dr Iain Percy OBE, double Olympic sailing gold medallist and chief executive of Artemis Technologies, said:
“Artemis Technologies welcomes the findings from the latest CEBR report which clearly illustrates the Maritime sector is in growth mode and contributing significantly to the UK economy.

“We want to see this upward trajectory continue but with a stronger focus on decarbonisation which is why we’ve launched today the next evolution of cleaner, greener vessels for our waters.

“The success of ‘Pioneer of Belfast’ and subsequent launch of our workboat range is just the beginning in our own fight against climate change and our efforts towards net zero targets; we have several high-speed zero-emission vessels in development that will transform the commercial workboat and city-to-city passenger ferry sectors over the coming decades.

“These developments, spearheaded by Artemis Technologies but hopefully adopted by global maritime leaders, will mean the UK can be a true trailblazer in the fast growing and important green maritime technology sector.”

The Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) has also published a new report, commissioned by Maritime UK, highlighting the major impact the industry makes on Britain’s economy.

In 2019, maritime contributed £116bn in total turnover to the UK economy, 35% higher than 2010. For every £1 of turnover generated directly by the sector, a further £1.09 was generated indirectly across the supply chain, underscoring the far-reaching impact of an industry that carries 95% of Britain’s global trade.

The sector’s direct turnover stood at £55bn in 2019, which outstrips the economic contribution of rail and aviation combined, and puts the industry ahead of road transport. And in 2019 UK maritime supported £48.9billion in GVA, an increase of 39% in 2010.

According to the CEBR, ambitious investments like Artemis Technologies’ electric foiling workboat, and a quick recovery in global transport patterns, will lead to growth exceeding pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2022. Between 2021-2025, the CEBR predicts UK maritime will grow by 16%.

Sarah Kenny OBE, Maritime UK chair, said:

“As an island nation, maritime surrounds all of us, and its impact is felt in every community across the UK.

“We saw that during the pandemic, through the provision of vital supplies, and we are seeing it now as we bounce back. With maritime driving the net zero agenda and providing skilled jobs in all corners of the country.

“Artemis Technologies’ launch today shows our heritage as maritime pioneers will continue long into the future. But continued collaboration with government, and investment, will be the key to realising our full potential.”

The CEBR’s report also outlines UK maritime’s employment impact, supporting 1,064,000 jobs in 2019. This represents an 18% increase on 2010, outpacing the rise in UK employment of 13% over the same period. These are highly productive jobs, adding 45% more value than the UK average, and well paid, with average remuneration 30% higher than the UK benchmark.

Most of these jobs are found in coastal areas, where employment opportunities are having an impact on communities. According to a poll by Survation in September 2021, commissioned by Maritime UK, of 1,000 young people (18-24) in coastal areas, 49% plan on moving away.

Jobs were cited as the overwhelming reason with 70% saying they would be more likely to stay if the right career opportunities were made available. Maritime UK believes growing the sector can help turn the tide for coastal communities.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP, Secretary of State for International Trade, said:

“Shipbuilding is a vital part of the UK’s industrial identity, and the maritime sector does a fantastic job in helping to grow our economy and supporting high-quality jobs across the country.

“It is excellent to see that Artemis Technologies has developed such a ground-breaking and innovative system for their boats, made in Northern Ireland and sold to the world. Not only are they helping revitalise shipbuilding in the UK, but assisting in our race to net zero through green UK innovation, and strengthening our global reputation as a thriving maritime industrial base.”

This follows the launch of Solent’s freeport yesterday (8th June), one of eight zones in England where companies importing and exporting will benefit from simplified customs, tax, and planning rules. The move is expected to create 32,000 across the Solent over the next 5-10 years.

UK Maritime is also found to be a valuable contributor to the Exchequer, having directly generated £5.2 billion in tax revenues for the UK in 2019, 36% higher than the £3.8 billion in 2010. Companies like Artemis Technologies, in the marine engineering and science space, provided 42% of the total sectoral tax revenues.

Robert Courts MP, Maritime Minister, said:

“Maritime is vital to the UK’s economy and to levelling up the country as a whole. Its role was made even clearer during the pandemic and this report serves to underline that contribution.

“I am incredibly proud of our industry and through our joint vision for the future, Clean Maritime Plan and Maritime 2050, we will work together to continue building a sector which benefits all.”

The CEBR’s economic analysis looks at all the major industries within maritime. This includes shipping, ports, marine leisure, which comprises leisure boating and watersports; marine engineering and science, and maritime business services, such as legal, finance and shipbroking.

Among these, shipping generated the highest turnover in 2019 at more than £49bn. Marine engineering and science, increasingly specialising in green technology, had the second highest impact at more than £34bn, followed by maritime business services (£13.7bn), ports (£10bn) and leisure marine (£8bn).

Maritime UK has also announced the return of Maritime UK Week, a week-long national programme of events and activity to engage the public with the world of maritime.

Running from 10-16 October 2022 Maritime UK runs in the off-year from London International Shipping Week, with a greater domestic and educational focus. Major themes will be how the sector can play its part in levelling up all parts of the country, builds its competitiveness and get to net zero.
Source: Artemis Technologies

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