Houlder provides research and compliance vessel concept designs for Marine Scotland

Houlder has been awarded two new contracts by Marine Scotland, the Scottish Government Directorate responsible for the integrated management of Scotland’s seas. The two vessel design contracts ensure support for the design and build of two new vessels which will have enhanced vessel capabilities and be designed to operate in the harsh conditions of the North Atlantic and the North Sea.

Following a fleet evaluation in 2019, Marine Scotland developed a future fleet plan to meet the future needs of marine protection and research in Scotland. In preparation, Marine Scotland has signed two technical service contracts with Houlder to ensure a qualified concept design for two new, state-of-the-art vessel types: a scientific research vessel, and a compliance vessel.

Houlder’s expertise in research vessels and hybrid designs will enable in-depth evaluation of the requirements and design documentation for both vessels, ensuring the vessels are fully fit for purpose. Houlder will provide tender support and shipyard evaluation throughout this process. To ensure a smooth route from concept to delivery, Houlder will use its experience of regulation, hybrid vessel design, and operational and technical expertise, particularly for research vessels.

The new compliance vessel type will be designed for use in the Scottish Zone (200nm EEZ), including the challenging conditions of the North Atlantic and North Sea, and meet the requirements of the Emission Control Area (ECA).

In addition, the new research vessel type will provide enhanced vessel capabilities including increased capacity for more scientists and integration of scientific equipment, facilitating a wider variety of research projects.

Rupert Hare, CEO at Houlder said: “Solving complex design challenges and meeting ambitious targets, whether technical, operational or environmental, is where we do our best work. Marine Scotland is looking for two high quality vessel types with exceptional capabilities and efficiency and our team is excited to, once again, find the optimum solution.”

Houlder has extensive experience in hybrid vessel design and recently worked with the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company (IoMSPC), acting as technical advisor in the design and build of its latest battery hybrid ferry. Houlder was also involved in the design and build of the RRS Sir David Attenborough alongside NERC and Cammell Laird.


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Rupert Hare, Chief Executive Officer