British shipbuilding company Cammell Laird’s plan to deliver a ‘pioneering clean energy project’ on Birkenhead has come under fire.

The company, whose headquarters and shipyard are in Birkenhead, have successfully bid for government funding to develop a ‘cutting-edge Green Shore Power Project’.

This follows a £3.5m funding injection from the UK Department for Transport’s Clean Maritine Demonstration Competition.

Cammell Laird said: “The £7m project will be the first of its kind in the UK and provide a zero-carbon onshore power solution, removing the dependence of vessels undergoing repair, refit or build on fossil fuel-based power supplies at the famous Mersey shipyard”.

But the Wirral Environmental Network, which operates as an environmental hub for organisations across the Wirral, believes this is only one step in the right direction.

Kenny Peers, Sustainability Project Manager at the charity, told MerseyNewsLive: “It is worth observing the irony of using fossil free energy to repair vessels which themselves run on fossil fuels!”

He added that “there is a lot I could say about this project,” but does not want to be overly critical as he believes “the people concerned, like most, feel they are making some effort” in terms of sustainability.

The RSS David Attenborough, here on the Thames, was built by Cammell Laird.
The RSS David Attenborough, here on the Thames, was built by Cammell Laird.

Cammell Laird say that they have been working on the project more over six years, and that it would lead to a “significant reduction” in emissions but also be a “catalyst for improvement” across the shipyard.

David McGinley, CEO of APCL Group – the umbrella organisation for A&P Group and Cammell Laird – said: “Sustainability is a challenge we need to tackle head on as an industry, that’s why we’re hugely excited”.

On their website, Cammell Laird says it “strives to be at the forefront of global engineering. To maintain this position, we must be committed to building a sustainable business which will continue to be successful for many years to come”.

A&P Falmouth, who partner Cammell Laird under APCL, have also been successful in a bid to provide sustainable clean shore power to vessels in Cornwall. There, they say they are supporting a strategy to achieve net zero across operations by 2030.

Images used under agreed Alamy license.


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