Smart Green Shipping’s (SGS) ‘FastRig’ project, supported by Scottish Enterprise, industry partners and private investors, is now nearing completion of the initial stages of the scope, with the finished fabrication of a 20metre high ‘FastRig’. The 3-year test and demonstration project will see the fabricated structure installed at Hunterston on the Clyde in early 2024. Our very own specialist equipment team, Malin Equipment have supported SGS with this innovative project, fueled by a desire to support the creation of a circular economy, with optimised design, fabrication and delivery of specialist equipment.
Here our very own Michael Hughes, Malin Equipment’s Project Manager, reflects on his time on the project.
What a project to be involved in – it has been fantastic throughout, cementing our collaborative relationship with Smart Green Shipping and enabling us to play a key role in the engineering and build of this first of class, innovative device. The opportunity to be involved in the implementation of groundbreaking technology, that will transform the way shipping is done in the future has been very exciting. Having first met the team at SGS at Cop26, it was great to formally collaborate, with a contract to oversee the structural elements of the project providing engineering and project management support, designing and supplying jigs and fixtures, managing the overall Bill of Materials and co-ordinating 3rd party services. Across the project there were many highlights, but the pinnacle for me was the realisation of quite how large the Smart Green Shipping Fastrig was, seeing the full wing spar assembled, nearly filling our fabrication shed – and wrapped in a visual design by the next generation to boot.
There have of course also been some tough parts – As a first of class demonstrator project, numerous components from a wide range of suppliers, have had to be managed and integrated effectively, which has been challenging. However, Malin Equipment were happy to lean in and support Smart Green Shipping with the integration of all parts, across a collaborative supply chain. It has also been a learning opportunity for both parties, with true collaboration from design to delivery. Indeed, we have been able to provide a number of useful learning points that are being integrated into the design for the next Smart Green Shipping FastRig.
Whilst I have worked on projects involving hydraulics engineering and specialist metals in the past, this is a first of its kind project for me personally, and one which reconfirms my love of engineering. I have always been passionate about developing innovative solutions to issues that there isn’t always an easy answer to, and for anyone considering this profession I would suggest you similarly find what fires your imagination – and then get involved. This technology will totally revolutionise the way people view shipping, drastically reducing the carbon emissions and making it more ecologically conscious, and through my role, I was able to play a part in pushing that forward.
And what next? The wider team at Malin Equipment and I are now looking to support Smart Green Shipping in the development of the next FastRig, due to be implemented onboard a ship. We will be reflecting on all of the learning from this project, with a view to optimise the fabrication process with the goal of creating a circular economy.