A project on the island of Arran to build and test two prototype electric workboats has secured £163,130 investment from the Scottish Government’s Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).
Arran Workboats Limited (AWL) supplies petrol and diesel powered workboats to many operators of Scotland’s 200 or so fish farms and to companies in other marine industries such as renewables, diving, port authorities, universities and tourism.
The company now wants to develop electric versions of its two workboat models, in a move that could help the country’s transition to net-zero emissions. There is already interest in the idea from companies in several marine sectors.
AWL will design and build two prototype electric versions of their twin propulsion workboats – with the prototypes used for test and demonstration purposes and to assess the potential for commercial production.
The company is determined to use Scotland-based supply chain companies as much as possible and is already working with another local company on energy requirement calculations.
Calum Monteith, director at Arran Workboats Ltd, said:
“We firmly believe our electric propulsion proposition is the future and will help the fish farm companies and other industries reduce their emissions from fossil fuels and help deliver their net zero aspirations.
“There are many benefits from electric propulsion for the operators and will save them money on fuel costs and save time on fuelling, servicing and maintenance. Operators will also reduce noise and pollution whilst at sea and eradicate the problems with storing fuel at their base.
“Our HDPE workboats that are built from scratch by our local workforce on Arran are well respected throughout the market and the business has been built over the years on recommendations. We customise our boats to suit each customer’s needs and this will take another step forward with our ability to meet the customer’s needs in relation to net zero/emissions targets.”
Kenneth Gibson MSP added:
“This welcome grant will further enhance AWL’s business and protect and increase jobs on Arran in the months years ahead.”