America’s Cup firm wants to revive Belfast shipbuilding

Artemis plans to build a fossil fuel-free passenger vessel from Belfast Harbour

A UK company that was born out of the 35th America’s Cup team Artemis Racing has announced plans to develop a new “zero-emissions” shipbuilding centre in Belfast. The company says it will build a hi-tech, fossil fuel-free passenger vessel.

Artemis Technologies, which is headquartered at the University of Cambridge, plans to harness its America’s Cup yacht racing expertise and develop new green maritime technologies at a new facility in Belfast Harbour.

The company, which is headed up by double Olympic gold medallist Iain Percy, will initially create 35 jobs in the North.

Mr Percy, who is also a veteran of four America’s Cup challenges, said Artemis Technologies wants to develop an autonomous sailing vessel, (ASV) that will be a zero-emissions 45-metre catamaran with an unlimited range, which will also have the potential to travel at 50 knots.


In Belfast on Thursday Mr Percy said:“We aim to lead in the decarbonisation of the maritime industry by building on our America’s Cup heritage and expertise in hydrofoils, wing sails and control systems to develop and manufacture green-powered commercial vessels, helping to ensure a sustainable maritime future.

“The ASV has a variety of applications including city to city passenger transportation and will be the first in a series of commercial maritime products developed by Artemis Technologies in Belfast using the wind and innovative energy recovery systems.”

Rich maritime history

Mr Percy believes Belfast’s rich maritime history and the North’s expertise in aerospace and composite engineering makes it the perfect location to locate a new “advanced maritime manufacturing facility”.

The International Maritime Organisation has said the global maritime sector is committed to cutting harmful emissions by at least half by 2050.

Artemis Technologies believes its new centre in Belfast will place it in a lead position in the race to decarbonise the maritime sector.

In the meantime the company has already attracted strong support for its new venture from a host of major organisations and businesses in the North including Belfast Harbour, Bombardier, Harland and Wolff and the North’s two universities.

Mr Percy said Artemis Technologies is now looking forward to sharing its expertise with other interested parties and he hopes its ambitious plans will help kickstart a revival in commercial ship building in Belfast.

Francess McDonnell

Francess McDonnell

Francess McDonnell is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in business