£5M Smart Green Shipping FastRig project set to turn the tide to make shipping greener

Published: 28 July 2022

Smart Green Shipping has announced its plans to transform the global shipping sector at its new headquarters at The Crichton in Dumfries with representatives from enterprise agencies, investors the Scottish shipping industry.

The company received a £1.8million grant from Scottish Enterprise towards a research and development project with a total value of £5m match funded by the private sector, alongside support from South of Scotland Enterprise. 

Smart Green Shipping is set to develop new concepts for shipping through renewable engineering of FastRig wing sails as well as weather routing software and circular economy business models over the course of a three-year project. 

Net Zero ambitions

The project supports Scotland’s Net Zero ambitions and will support the decarbonisation of the global shipping sector – that emits more than one million tonnes of GHG emissions every day.

How many jobs will be created through this investment?

The company is initially investing in 13 new roles to support the business in evolving its technology and has plans to install its demonstration FastRig at Peel Ports Hunterston Port and Resource Centre (Hunterston PARC) in collaboration with Clyde-based specialist engineering partner Malin.

This will create a wing sail manufacturing base in Glasgow with plans to have a demonstrator FastRig for testing on a commercial ship by 2023.

Digital developments

  • The initial stages of the project will manufacture and deploy FastRig systems designed to augment any ship’s powertrain to save fuel, reduce mechanical wear and generate emissions credits.
  • In addition to the physical sail the company is also developing digital tools, in a project called TradeWind, that uses data to predict and optimise wind-use in shipping. 

Who is Smart Green Shipping?

Smart Green Shipping founder Diane Gilpin has an innovation background, from cellular phone technology, to F1 and yacht racing, renewables and is a member of the Clean Maritime Council that advises the UK government on industry strategies to reduce carbon emissions.

Who is supporting the project?

Scottish Enterprise and South of Scotland Enterprise supported the company following collaboration at COP26 in Glasgow in November 2021.

Business Minister Ivan McKee

"The FastRig project is an excellent example of how innovation can help us progress in low carbon technologies and ensure Scotland is playing its part in these developments, creating more green jobs and business opportunities to take us on a Mission Zero for transport.”

Smart Green Shipping Chief Executive Diane Gilpin

“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 are in a climate emergency and we are thrilled to be benefitting from Scotland’s support.

It is 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.”

Scottish Enterprise Director of Economic Opportunities and Climate Suzanne Sosna

“Our work at COP26 in bringing innovative companies together with the shared ambition of creating a greener Scottish economy helped attract Smart Green Shipping to Scotland.

“I’m delighted our support allows the company to scale up its digital technology and engineer a working FastRig through access to talent, infrastructure and manufacturing resources for this collaborative project.

“Scotland has a very proud shipbuilding heritage, and it is fitting that Smart Green Shipping’s project will be anchored on the Clyde in Glasgow where the future of green shipping can turn the tide to meet global Net Zero targets.”

South of Scotland Enterprise Director of Net Zero Martin Valenti

“Smart Green Shipping’s efforts to lead a transformational change in the sector from their new headquarters in the South of Scotland is hugely significant.

“Recent figures showed global shipping emissions represented over one million tonnes of CO2 and was responsible for almost 3% of global emissions.

“Smart Green Shipping highlight that the just transition to Net Zero should not be seen as a barrier to businesses, but the most significant economic opportunity of our time.

“SOSE, alongside our partners, are ready to support businesses, social enterprise and community groups on this journey.”