26th January 2024 – CATAGEN have been successful in a consortium application to the Clean Maritime Demonstrator Competition (CMDC), supported by UK Department for Transport and Innovate UK.

The Techno-economic Feasibility Study of ClimaHtech Innovative Clean Maritime Solutions is part of the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition Round 4 (CMDC4), funded by the UK Department for Transport (DfT) and delivered by Innovate UK. CMDC4 is part of the Department’s UK Shipping Office for Reducing Emissions (UK SHORE) programme, a £206m initiative focused on developing the technology necessary to decarbonise the UK domestic maritime sector.

The project will be led by CATAGEN, a global leader in design and manufacturing of net zero technologies. Partners of the project are The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), Orkney Islands Council, Highland Fuels Limited, and Belfast Harbour Commissioners

CATAGEN CEO and Co-Founder, Dr Andrew Woods, said “The UK maritime industry presents a significant decarbonisation challenge and CATAGEN are proud to lead this project to explore pathways to reduce carbon emissions for this hard to abate industry using our ClimaHtech E-FUEL GEN technology. With key knowledge and resources of our esteemed project partners, Belfast Harbour, EMEC, Highlands Fuels, and Orkney Islands Council, this project aims to provide viable solutions for maritime decarbonisation and energy security that are replicable across the industry on a national and global scale. In addition to the decarbonisation opportunities, the project also brings economic and social benefit to the UK through creating new employment opportunities, unlocking export potential, and enhancing IP knowledge-based business. CATAGEN thanks Innovate UK for their support, and the UK Department for Transport for the project’s funding. This important step helps CATAGEN stride towards our overarching goal to clean and decarbonise the air.”

The project consists of a techno-economic feasibility study exploring the opportunity of bringing novel clean fuel production technology to market, which has the potential to deliver significant decarbonisation to the UK’s maritime activities. More specifically, the feasibility study aims to determine the commercial viability of using CATAGEN’s E-FUEL GEN technology to produce e-diesel and E-Fuels for the maritime sector in marine vessels and to supply port-side equipment.

Orkney and Belfast are test locations for investigating the implementation, the production and distribution of clean fuel as both locations have access to significant renewable resources and cover a diverse range of vessel related activities, ensuring that the outcomes of the feasibility study are replicable across the UK.

Jacqueline Walls from Belfast Harbour said: “Belfast Harbour’s commitment to building a truly sustainable, clean, Green Port is core to our Trust Port purpose, so we are delighted to be part of this significant project to explore the potential for bringing clean fuel production technology to the ports sector. We look forward to working alongside locally based decarbonisation experts CATAGEN and the other project partners to test the viability of e-diesel and E-Fuel production and distribution systems which, if successful, could be rolled out to other ports and make a major contribution to reducing the carbon impact of maritime activities across the UK.” 

The project’s core methodology involves harnessing a wealth of data, including local renewable energy generation potential, fuel demand profiles, and fuel infrastructure insights provided by project partners. Through meticulous analysis, the consortium seeks to determine the efficacy of CATAGEN’s ClimaHtech technology in expediting the reduction of carbon emissions in maritime operations of Belfast and Orkney partner ports, establishing a replicable model for adoption across various harbours and ports in the UK.

Maritime Minister Lord Davies said: “Unlocking a sustainable maritime sector and the economic growth it provides relies on cutting edge technology to propel it to the next level. The voyage to sustainability demands bold investments to not just deliver greener shipping but highly skilled jobs across the UK. Transformative solutions can help shape the future landscape of the maritime industry and support jobs in coastal communities.”

The anticipated impact of this project extends beyond its immediate scope. As a trailblazing initiative, it aspires to serve as a blueprint for similar projects, providing a robust replication framework for harbours, ports, and maritime assets both in the UK and globally. This strategic approach will contribute substantially to the broader industry objective of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and commitment to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

The project is estimated to cost £645,000 with a collective grant of £482,000 and is proposed to begin in April 2024 for 12 months.


Photo L>R 

Joe O’Neill CEO at Belfast Harbour, and Dr Andrew Woods CEO and Co-Founder at CATAGEN – pictured at Titanic Walkway in Belfast, Northern Ireland. 

About the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition Round 4 (CMDC4)

In March 2022, the UK Government announced the biggest government investment ever in our UK commercial maritime sector, allocating £206m to UK SHORE, a new programme within the Department for Transport focused on decarbonising the maritime sector. UK SHORE is delivering a suite of interventions throughout 2022-2025 aimed at accelerating the design, manufacture and operation of UK-made clean maritime technologies and unlocking an industry-led transition to Net Zero.

The UK SHORE programme includes the flagship multi-year Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition (CMDC) which provides match-funding to help bring pre-commercial technologies closer to market readiness. CMDC4 allocated £33m to 33 projects across the UK to deliver demonstrations, pre-deployment trials and feasibility studies between April 2024 – March 2025. The projects are supported by over 120 partners and will leverage more than £16m of private investment.

CMDC4 follows the successful first three rounds of the CMDC, which allocated over £95m to 105 projects. CMDC1 was launched in 2021, prior to UK SHORE.