Building solutions firm secures £1.7m grant

Cemex, based in Coventry, has secured a grant of nearly £1.7m from the Department for Transport.

This funding will support the further development of a shore power system designed to eliminate the need for onboard diesel engines when ships are unloading marine aggregates.

A partnership with the University of Warwick and advanced system integrator, iconsys, will construct a demonstrator of a smart shore power system with battery energy storage to be used by vessels while they are docked.

This system uses renewable energy sources to provide consistent power, even during periods of fluctuating demand, resulting in real-world reductions in emissions.

The demonstrator, located at Cemex’s wharf in Shoreham, Brighton & Hove, will provide constant power to docked vessels, mimicking the full discharge cycle alongside the berth.

Scheduled to commence in April, this phase of the project is expected to take 12 months for installation and demonstration. The results will be shared with stakeholders in the industry and the Department for Transport. This initiative aligns with Shoreham Port’s sustainability objectives and contributes to the development of a Local Industrial Decarbonisation Plan.

Laurence Dagley, operational excellence and business development director for Cemex West Europe materials, said: “Our initial feasibility study for this shore power system identified an opportunity to save a significant amount of CO2 during each dredger discharge, while also improving local air quality at the port itself. We are therefore pleased to have received this funding to progress to the next stage of the project and undertake on-site demonstration.

“The timings for this stage are tight but the potential benefits are considerable, as it will allow us to gain real experience of all the hardware, in a real environment, whilst being able to study full scale operation and quantify the benefits. Utilising the Cemex Go Innovation, already the newest and most advanced aggregates dredger in the industry, this will be the first dredger in the UK to be shore powered and marks an exciting progression in our efforts to decarbonise.”

Jordan Tassell, Head of Marine & Ports for iconsys, commented: “This is a fantastic opportunity to progress towards a demonstration of the smart shore power system, a cutting-edge solution that goes beyond the standard. The aim is to offer key functionality and benefits that will support uptake within the maritime sector and drive the future of vessel connectivity.

“iconsys is driven by the ambition to develop our specialised skillset in this domain, leveraging this demonstration project as a strategic platform. Our commitment is not just limited to system integration; we aim to detail, design, and manufacture a solution that sets a benchmark in efficiency and reliability. This venture aligns with our broader vision of pushing the boundaries of innovation and playing a pivotal role in shaping the landscape of smart, connected ports and vessels.”

Dr Andrew McGordon, Reader in the Energy Applications Group at WMG, University of Warwick commented “This is a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate the learnings form the feasibility study using an innovative mix of real and virtual hardware, to understand the operational challenges of decarbonising this sector whilst developing state of the art energy management strategies to maximise CO2 emissions savings.”

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