Port of London gets pollution-busting pilot boat

Posted on 30 Jun 2019 and read 996 times
Port of London gets pollution-busting pilot boatThe UK’s first hybrid pilot boat has been built by Norfolk-based Goodchild Marine Services Ltd (www.goodchildmarine.co.uk) for the Port of London Authority (PLA), in a contract that paves the way for dynamic improvements to the carbon footprint of cutters.

The ORC 136 — a parallel hybrid pilot boat — combines diesel and electric power and is designed to be completely
emission-free while operating in electric mode.

The £1 million vessel will be used by the PLA (www.pla.co.uk) for the transfer of pilots to and from vessels in Gravesend Reach.

The PLA estimates that it will use less than 10% of the fuel that the existing pilot boats get through.

This equates to a drop from 86,000 litres of fuel per year to 7,000.

The order was placed as part of PLA’s commitment to adopting the green technology outlined in its Air Quality Strategy for the Tidal Thames.

This aims to reduce river-based air pollution, while also facilitating the growth of waterborne freight and passenger transport.

Marine and Industrial Transmissions Ltd (MIT) worked with Transfluid to provide the plug-in hybrid system, while EP Barrus supplied the Yanmar engines.

Goodchild Marine’s flagship ORC range is renowned for its unique beak-bow hull design, which makes it lighter and more capable of higher speeds.

The boat — named Leader — is expected to reach up to 15 knots under hybrid power.

Goodchild Marine’s managing director Alan Goodchild said: “There are other hybrid vessels on the market, but to the best of my knowledge there isn’t another like this.

"Its design gives it unmatched all-weather capability, and the fuel efficiency is second-to-none due to the light hull shape, giving it minimal drag.”

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