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Why Scotland’s ambitious net zero targets made it the natural choice for Smart Green Shipping’s headquarters

17 Apr 2024 • 4 minute read

Smart Green Shipping has fully manufactured its FastRig in Scotland. Now, it’s being tested on the banks of the Clyde.

This week, Scotland’s First Minister Humza Yousaf visited Hunterston PARC to see newly developed FastRig technology produced by Smart Green Shipping (SGS). The climate tech innovation, fully manufactured in Scotland, is tackling the urgent issue of rising emissions in the global shipping industry.

The shipping industry needs accessible, innovative solutions to help it reduce its emissions if it’s to meet essential net zero goals.

SGS’s FastRig – which has been entirely manufactured from recycled materials in Scotland – is enabling the move away from fossil-powered ships by helping modern vessels harness the power of wind with 21st century technology.

FastRig on the Clyde riverbank

The test 20-metre FastRig wingsail has been erected on the banks of the Clyde at Hunterston PARC and will allow SGS to fully demonstrate its mechanical systems, ensure its safety and reliability and verify fuel savings before on-ship tests taking place later this year.

Inspired by yacht racing state-of-the-art designs, which deploy wing sails that enable them to sail faster than the wind, SGS developed robust, digitally enabled, wing sails that can be retrofitted onto existing ships and new builds.

The FastRig’s unique design can create up to 30% of fuel savings when retrofitted to ships. The Department for Transport estimates that up to 40,000 ships worldwide are suitable for wind-powered propulsion.

Manufactured in Scotland

The FastRig has been entirely manufactured in Scotland with the support of Scottish Enterprise, following engagement at COP26 in Glasgow with SGS.

Commenting on this, Diane Gilpin, founder and CEO of Smart Green Shipping, said:

“There’s a reason that Smart Green Shipping made Scotland its home and that is because there are no other countries that support innovative climate technology companies at an early stage like Scotland.

“As a female-founded business building climate infrastructure it is notoriously hard to secure funding. The collaborative grant process with Scottish Enterprise not only unlocked investment but also opened up introductions to partners that we are still working with.

“Scotland saw the potential for wind-assist to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions for shipping and I look forward to repaying that belief in us by taking our technology to the world and making a real difference.”

Support from Scottish Enterprise

Scotland has ambitious net zero targets set out by Scottish Government as it strives for a just transition to a net zero economy by 2045.

Scottish Enterprise launched its new focus earlier this year to help unlock billions of pounds of global opportunities through three missions, one of which is the energy transition, to deliver growth and a greener economy.

The agency has provided grant funding of £1.8 million, as well as equity investment, over recent years. It has also worked in partnership with South of Scotland Enterprise to help the company set up its headquarters in Dumfries.

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