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Historic Mersey steam tug guides students towards a decarbonised maritime future

An historic steam tender which once towed Mersey barges alongside the great ocean liners of the Edwardian era is leading an innovative skills project funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund around decarbonisation in the maritime sector.

Daniel Adamson – affectionately known as ‘The Danny’ – is being used in partnership with the Canal & River Trust, Liverpool John Moores University and National Museums Liverpool to equip college students with practical skills around maritime sustainability and vessel design.

A cohort of 36 top engineering students from Hugh Baird College in Bootle, Wirral Met in Birkenhead, and Riverside and Cronton Colleges in Widnes and Runcorn have been enrolled.

The Maritime Heritage – Maritime Futures programme will focus on educating the students about Liverpool’s importance as a global port city and its rich heritage as a centre for innovative maritime technologies. The students will learn about how the region’s maritime sector is rapidly greening its operations, and what kind of jobs and opportunities exist.

The programme has been made possible thanks to money raised by National Lottery players and is being supported by expertise from some of the region’s key players in the sector, including Svitzer, the Peel Ports Group, Safeguard Engineering, Liverpool Pilots, and Cammell Laird.

At a student enrichment event on Tuesday 14 November, the steam powered Danny was joined in Liverpool’s Canning Dock by National Museums Liverpool’s Brocklebank (1964) and Svitzer’s climate neutral tug, Trident (2016), which took a break from its usual busy commercial operations on the Mersey to be part of the event.

Engineers from each of the tenders led vessel tours, illustrating the challenges and evolution of maritime propulsion over the last 120 years. Svitzer’s decarbonisation team spoke to the students about the role that retrofit fuel technologies, vessel speed limits, and fuel types have in decarbonising maritime operations. By converting Trident from Marine Gas Oil (MGO) onto sustainably sourced hydrotreated vegetable oil-based fuels (HVO), Svitzer has reduced Trident’s annual emissions by 530tonnes of Co2-e.

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