ExoTechnologies, the maritime green technologies start-up, has delivered a fully recyclable, high-performance workboat to pioneering tidal turbine developers Orbital Marine Power to support its offshore operation.
The vessel, built from ExoTechnologies’ DANUTM composite material technology, will be used to transport engineers to Orbital Marine Power’s O2, the world’s most powerful tidal turbine off Orkney. The O2 is Orbital Marine Power’s first commercial demonstrator and represents the culmination of more than 15 years of product development and testing in Orkney.
The workboat meanwhile has been built at Ultimate Boats, the Glasgow boatyard owned by ExoTechnologies and is part of the full high-performance workboat range that it launched earlier this year. The company says it plans to create 300 jobs at the yard within five years.
The 11 metre O-class Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RIB) can carry eight people and is adapted for the specific operational needs of Orbital Marine Power and the challenging sea conditions around Orkney. It has a wheelhouse, shock mitigation units, access from the front and has an operating range of 450 nautical miles.
The vessel also features the company’s advanced ExoHullTM technology, designed and developed by Ultimate Boats internationally renowned chief designer John Moxham. He has reimagined planning hull technology and hydrodynamic performance using principles that were first conceived during the development of the XB-70 Valkyrie supersonic bomber. The hull design allows the boat to move quicker and more efficiently in the water, creating a more stable movement with less slamming impact and fuel saving.
In 2022 ExoTechnologies delivered its first commercial vessel to Police Scotland. That breakthrough deal represented the culmination of a £7million investment in research and development.
ExoTechnologies CEO Shane Mugan said: “We are very proud to be working with Orbital Marine Power to support its pioneering work in the field of green energy. Innovation and making a positive difference through the development of a renewable marine industry is at the heart of the work of both our operations.
“Our fully recyclable DANUTM composite material technology can tackle the ecological timebomb which sees 250 million kilos of fibreglass and thousands of boats dumped into landfill across Europe each year. That shows the potential of our market leading technologies, which we believe are capable of accelerating the green transition to a circular economy across all industries and markets.
“We know we are making a significant breakthrough in transforming boat building, as DANUTM with its superior mechanical strength can replace fibreglass. This latest deal with Orbital Marine Power underlines that.”
He added: “We are seeing strong interest in our range of innovative and high-performance vessels from commercial and leisure operators. The boat we are delivering for Orbital Marine Power will be a real workhorse, designed and built to operate in challenging waters.”
Orbital Marine Power is headquartered in Orkney and is focused on the development of a tidal energy turbine technology capable of producing a dramatic reduction in the cost of energy from tidal currents. The Orbital technology has been under continuous engineering development, including rigorous testing of scaled systems in both tank conditions and open ocean environments since the company was founded in 2002.
The O2 turbine has a 74m long hull structure with twin 1MW power generating nacelles at the end of retractable leg structures designed to give low-cost access to all major components for through life servicing. The floating structure is held on station with a four-point mooring system where each mooring chain has the capacity to lift over 50 double decker buses. O2 has the ability to generate enough clean, predictable electricity to meet the demand of around 2,000 UK homes and offset approximately 2,200 tonnes of CO2 production per year.
Ultimate Boats’ full high-performance workboat range includes a 13M crew transfer vessel, 11.5M multi-mission workboat and 7.5M support workboat.