Smart Green Shipping and Malin move ahead with zero emissions ship prototype

Malin Equipment, is delighted to progress its partnership with Smart Green Shipping’s ground-breaking project to contribute to global shipping’s green transformation thanks to a £1.8 million grant from Scottish Enterprise.


Part of the Malin Group, marine engineering specialists, Malin Equipment is supporting Smart Green Shipping (SGS) with the project to demonstrate that a vessel fuelled by renewable energy can lead to a revival of civil shipbuilding on the Clyde, create new green jobs, export opportunities and contribute to Scotland’s NetZero commitments.


The first step on the journey is a 21st Century wingsail known as FastRig, developed by Dumfries-based Smart Green Shipping. FastRigs are designed to be easily retrofittable hyper-modern sails. The intention going forward is to integrate FastRigs with other renewable energy sources, including hydrogen, into future designs to create 100% renewable hybrid ships that work at least as well as fossil-powered ships in logistics chains. FastRigs are designed to be intelligent – operated by AI to maximise available wind form any speed and direction., They are recyclable and so can be swiftly upgraded as the technology develops.

Malin Equipment Director, Ben Potter said: “We believe that there is a real opportunity here for Scotland to be at the forefront of rapidly developing innovation. We are delighted that Scottish Enterprise, through their grant support, have enabled us to support SGS in making this aim a reality. Malin has extensive expertise in supporting the energy sector both oil and gas and renewables.


This is a perfect fit for Malin Equipment – an innovative project that enables us to draw on its deep maritime engineering experience to build on local inventiveness to create rugged, robust and reliable equipment that is straightforward to retrofit and provide real short-term emissions solutions for global shipping. We look forward to demonstrating our team’s ability to apply their expertise to creating bespoke solutions and revolutionise the industry.”


Smart Green Shipping CEO Diane Gilpin said: “Our purpose is to develop financially and technically superior solutions that support shipping’s green transition. There are huge commercial benefits to developing transformative systems.


“We’re in a climate emergency and we’re thrilled to be benefitting from Scotland’s support. It’s a country that punches above its weight with its ambitious net zero response and for the country to get behind Smart Green Shipping’s FastRig and 100% renewable ships will enable us to get to market and start driving down emissions all the sooner.”


A feasibility analysis, supported by the Innovate UK programme, of retrofitting ‘FastRigs’ to an existing 83,000 tonne bulk carrier showed annual fuel and emissions savings of at 20% per annum at the ship’s usual operating speed on her usual route. This would lead to payback for ship operators within three to five years, according to the analysis. 


The 3 year £5.2m test and demonstration project will see a full scale FastRig installed at Hunterston on the Clyde by February 2023 and is funded by a blend of Scottish Enterprise grants, industry support and private investors