Belfast Harbour-based maritime technology company Artemis Technologies (ATL) has announced a new partnership with UK domestic ferry operator Red Funnel, which operates between Southampton and the Isle of Wight.

The partnership between the green high-tech boatbuilder located in Queen's Island and Red Funnel’s Southampton-West Cowes service will introduce a high-performance, emission-free passenger vessel to its customers in late 2025. The Solent Hi-Speed route, currently served by catamaran craft, Red Jets 6 and 7, will be enhanced with the addition of a zero-emission, electric e-foiling passenger ferry, the Artemis EF-24 Passenger.

Operation of the Artemis EF-24 Passenger will save up to 3,700 tonnes of CO2e per year. Using electricity from renewable sources will increase annual emissions savings to approximately 4,150 tonnes of CO2e. In addition to reducing air pollution and noise, the fully accessible passenger ferry will use cutting-edge hydrofoil propulsion technology to fly over waves, lifting the vessel out of the water to reduce drag and provide a smoother, quieter, and more comfortable experience for passengers.

The Artemis EF-24 Passenger is a ground-breaking next step in the decarbonisation of the industry, and Red Funnel is thrilled to join two other ferry operators (see Condor) adopting the technology to decarbonise their operations. This addition to Red Funnel’s fleet will provide the first zero-emissions commercial service between the south coast of England and the Isle of Wight.

Red Funnel CEO, Fran Collins, said: “We have been working with Artemis Technologies for several months to develop this partnership, and we are delighted to reach this exciting milestone as part of our journey to decarbonise our fleet. Delivering first-class service to our customers is our priority and the Artemis EF-24 passenger ferry will provide speed, comfort and reliability as well as significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution.
“This is an important step towards transitioning to a sustainable and environmentally friendly fleet that will continue to provide a lifeline service for the Isle of Wight community both now and for future generations. We will be working closely with ATL over the coming months for testing and sea trials, including bespoke training of our high-speed team so that we’re ready to add Artemis EF-24 Passenger to our fleet next year. In the meantime, it is very much business as usual for our teams and customers as we work behind the scenes on this exciting phase of our journey.”

Dr Iain Percy, OBE, double Olympic and multiple world champion sailor and Artemis Technologies CEO, added: “We are incredibly excited to partner with Red Funnel and bring the Artemis EF-24 Passenger ferry to the vital Southampton - Isle of Wight route.The EF-24 Passenger ferry represents a major leap forward in our mission to transform the maritime industry and future-proof our oceans and waterways. Air pollution impacts our health, damages quality of life, and harms our environment and oceans. By introducing the EF-24 Passenger, Red Funnel is taking a significant step towards mitigating these issues. The electric propulsion of our ferry not only eliminates air and water pollution but also reduces noise and wake, providing a quieter, smoother ride for passengers and minimising impact on shorelines.This partnership with Red Funnel underscores our commitment to international maritime standards, and paves the way to a healthier planet for all. Together, we are leading the charge towards a more sustainable future.”

The EF-24 Passenger will be ready for passenger service in late 2025, when it will join the Red Funnel fleet, which Afloat highlights includes a trio of ‘Raptor’ class car ferries on the Southampton-East Cowes, which were all built by Ferguson Shipbuilders, Port Glasgow.

In addition, the freight-only ferry Red Kestrel, which Afloat reported on its ‘float’ out in February 2019 at the Cammell Laird shipbuilders in Birkenhead on Merseyside. The 12 HGV capacity newbuild entered three months later on the Southampton-East Cowes route in tandem with the Raptor ferries.

The Red Jet 6 and 7 were built on the Isle of Wight by the Wight Shipyard in Cowes and entered service in 2016 and 2018, respectively. The final member of the fleet, Red Jet 4, is the only vessel of the fleet built outside the UK, as the catamaran craft was built by North West Bay Pty Ltd of Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.

Source: vesselfinder.com