Connemara-based company EireComposites is partnering with the University of Galway on the newly-funded FASTSHIP project, which aims to make the shipping industry greener. The project will focus on developing lightweight composite materials that can reduce fuel consumption, CO2 emissions, and costs. Over the course of 24 months, the project will optimize the manufacturing process for volume production of these materials to reduce drag on ships. ÉireComposites will lead development and manufacturing, while the University of Galway will handle analysis and testing.
Established in 1998, ÉireComposites is involved in the design, manufacturing, and testing of lightweight, high-performance, fiber-reinforced composite materials. They have a customer base of over 70 companies in sectors such as aerospace, renewable energy, marine, and automotive. The shipping industry currently accounts for approximately 3.1% of global CO2 emissions, a number predicted to rise significantly by 2050 without mitigation.
The FASTSHIP project has received almost €600,000 in funding from the Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland (SEAI) and the Marine Institute. The project aims to develop a solution that can be retrofitted to existing vessels or designed into new ships, resulting in a significant reduction in fuel consumption, carbon emissions, and shipping costs. This project aligns with the maritime sector’s goal of decarbonizing operations and increasing the use of low-carbon and renewable fuels in shipping.