A defence minister has praised Northern Ireland industry as she took a ride on a “flying” ferry.
Baroness Goldie visited a number of sites in Belfast on Thursday, including Artemis Technologies which is developing electric powered ships that “fly” above the surface of the water.
It uses hydrofoils to lift the boat’s hull out of the water, significantly reducing drag and increasing efficiency, and helps to substantially curtail greenhouse gas emissions.
The minister was briefed on their latest advancements in sustainable maritime transportation, and discussed the continued opportunities for green maritime jobs in Northern Ireland, as the company continues to expand.
Harland and Wolff is part of the Team Resolute consortium which won the MoD contract.
Baroness Goldie praised an “extraordinary” experience on the Artemis ship, adding it was fascinating to see the cutting-edge technology in action.
“Artemis for Northern Ireland has a really important contribution to make to the economy of the country but also in supplying what I think will be wider needs – people are looking for green maritime products, and Artemis are very well placed to meet that need,” she said.
“It’s really exciting technology.”
“We’re also very clear that we want to ensure within the United Kingdom, where we can identify the skills and where equipment can be produced for us at a competitive price, we want to show support for these manufacturers and these industries.
“Harland and Wolff plays an important part in that, we don’t just place orders out of sentiment.
“Harland and Wolff, along with the consortium of which they are part, are able to offer the service we need for our three fleet support ships.”
Artemis chief executive Iain Percy added: “We were honoured to welcome Baroness Goldie to Artemis Technologies and provide an insight into how UK research and innovation funding is helping us to develop a world leading clean maritime technology cluster.
“In order to meet our climate change goals, all sectors need to play their part, and we support the Ministry of Defence’s ambitious commitment to create a green Royal Navy fleet and strive towards decarbonisation by 2050.
“Through supporting research within the UK, and working closely with industry and academia, they are finding new innovative solutions to green their fleet and help meet the UK’s wider 2050 Net Zero target.”