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UK firm in talks in Dubai to launch high-speed, electric ferries 

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Artemis Technologies zero emissions marine vehicles accommodate up to 150 passengers and achieve a speed of 38 knots
  • Zero-emission ferry cuts fuel costs by up to 85%
  • UAE aims for a fifth of government vehicles being electric by 2030

Belfast-based Artemis Technologies is in talks to with Dubai authorities to launch its electric, high-speed passenger ferries in the emirate, part of the UAE government’s AED600 billion ($163bn) Net Zero 2050 Strategy.

The Northern Irish company’s marine vehicles, which are 24 metres in length and accommodate up to 150 passengers, can achieve a top speed of 38 knots, generate zero emissions, and are estimated to cut fuel costs by up to 85 percent, compared to diesel alternatives.

Developed by the Artemis Racing team that competed in the America’s Cup, its founder, British Olympic champion Dr Iain Percy, is aiming to launch the vehicles in urban coastal communities around the world.

“We have combined our experience from the worlds of high-performance sailing, motorsports, aerospace, and advanced manufacturing to design and develop an electric propulsion system that is quite simply a game changer for the maritime industry,” Percy said.

Artemis Technologies is planning to launch a pilot scheme for the vessels, which will operate between Belfast and Bangor in Northern Ireland and take to the water in 2024.

“The zero-emission ferry that will be seen departing Belfast in 2024, aptly named ‘Zero’, will be the first we build at our manufacturing hub in the city, but it is only the start.

“The EF-24 Passenger can provide an immediate green transport solution that competes economically with road and rail in places like San Francisco, New York, Venice, Istanbul, Dubai, and Singapore – anywhere around the globe that is seeking sustainable transport alternatives that balance the requirement for people to continue to move around with the need to reduce carbon emissions,” Percy added.

An Artemis Technologies spokesperson told AGBI the company “is talking to organisations in Dubai” but declined to divulge any further details.

The potential deal is part of a wider goal by the UAE to become carbon neutral by 2050. The plan aims to see a fifth of all government agency vehicles switch to electric by 2030.

The UAE is among the top ten countries in the world for electric mobility, according to a report by consultancy firm Arthur D Little, which forecast that the sector is estimated to grow 30 percent per annum between 2022 and 2028.

There have been a number of transport-related initiatives announced within the marine transport sector in recent months.

Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) earlier this month announced it would begin operating electric abra tourist services for visitors to Global Village from October 25.

“By offering riders an opportunity to board a transit means powered by renewable energy, we intend to generate a positive experience that will contribute to the growth of tourist numbers in the Global Village,” Mohammed Abu Bakr Al Hashemi, director of marine transport at the RTA, said in a press statement.

Dubai-based EV Lab in August signed a partnership with Austria’s Silent Yachts to launch solar-powered yachts in the Middle East. The vessels, ranging from 18-metres up to 36.5 metres, retail from around $3 million.

Dubai boats
The JET ZeroEmission is set to manufacture hydrogen-powered boats in Dubai

Swiss startup The JET ZeroEmission, is set to manufacture hydrogen-powered boats in Dubai.

Founder Alain Thébault said in a Twitter post by the Dubai Media Office in January that he was “pleased to make this announcement from Dubai and be able to manufacture and launch ‘THE JET’, which is going to be the world’s first boat to sail without noise, waves, or emissions and capable of flying 80cm above the waters”.

Transport is a major part of the UAE government’s Net Zero 2050 Strategic Initiative, which aims to invest AED600 billion in clean and renewable energy sources and schemes.

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