UK shipyard launches pollution collection boat

MMS Workboats, a division of MMS Ship Repair & Dry Dock Co Ltd. (MMS), has launched the Envirocat All-Electric Eco 8.5, a plastic and debris collection vessel.

The Envirocat is powered by electric outboards.

Designed to make waterways cleaner and support sustainable industries such as fish farming and aquaculture, the 8.5-metre vessel can be operated by a single user to clear plastic and flotsam from the water’s surface.

The vessel, developed in conjunction with naval architecture firm Rockabill Marine Design, is the brainchild of Rob Langton, managing director at MMS, in response to the increasing need for plastic removal from waterways worldwide.

Recent studies found 5,000 pieces of plastic and 150 plastic bottles for each mile of UK beaches, with most of this waste entering seas and oceans through rivers and in-land waterways. According to the United Nations Environment Programme report in 2021, there is an estimated 75-199 million tons of plastic in the world’s oceans.

Predictions show the amount of plastic waste entering aquatic ecosystems could more than double from an estimated 19-23 million tons per year in 2016 to around 53 million tons per year by 2030.

“The Envirocat All-Electric Eco 8.5 is the latest version of our popular Envirocat pollution control range, and marks a significant milestone in our commitment to environmental sustainability and innovation,” Langton said.

“We are proud to introduce a zero-emission vessel that not only helps clean our waterways but also supports the growth of eco-conscious industries like aquaculture, without a hefty price tag. This launch underscores our dedication to providing efficient, reliable, and eco-friendly solutions to our customers.”

Powered by two electric outboards, the vessel produces zero emissions, contributing to a cleaner and greener environment. The vessel can hold up 3 cubic metres of waste.

This versatile vessel is ideal for a wide range of applications, including clearing harbours, ports, marinas, lakes, and canals, as well as supporting fish farming and aquaculture operations as a general workboat.

Alongside the ability to easily support an eight-hour working day, the operational cost of the Envirocat All-Electric Eco 8.5 is $3.32 (£2 per hour).

The vessel has a user-friendly wheelhouse with tinted bonded windows, offering excellent visibility. Digital and colour indicators provide essential information such as RPM, power consumption, distance, and speed.

The catamarans are constructed with marine-grade aluminum, ensuring both durability and longevity while keeping maintenance costs to a minimum.