Hydro partners with Arksen on aluminium exploration and research vessel project
UK-based marine adventure company Arksen has selected aluminium as the key build material in developing a new standard for sustainable vessel design. The partnership with Hydro provides Arksen with access to low-carbon aluminium and aluminium expertise.
The partnership with aluminium producer Hydro provides Arksen with access to both rolled and extruded marine-grade aluminium and the wealth of Hydro’s experience in developing cost-effective, efficient and strong solutions for the marine industry. This helps Arksen with their goal of developing a fleet of more-sustainable vessels that are suitable for ocean research and conservation. The aluminum is made from a combination of process scrap and recycled aluminium, combined with primary aluminium. This offers a low-carbon alternative manufactured using renewable energy. “Arksen was created to accelerate the marine industry’s journey towards improved sustainability standards and the development of the world’s largest private research-capable fleet. This is enabled through the activities of the non-profit Arksen Foundation”, says Olly Hicks, Executive Director of the Foundation and a well-known adventurer.
The first vessel, the Arksen 85 Project Ocean, is being built at the aluminium specialist Wight Shipyard on the Isle of Wight in the UK. Construction began in October 2020, with completion scheduled for spring 2022. When launched, the vessel will undertake cruises for research and conservation as well as make appearances at various marine trade shows and feature in publications over coming years. Hydro is supplying aluminium extrusions and aluminium sheet for the vessel that are strong yet light and corrosion-resistant, making them ideal materials for marine applications.
“Hydro’s knowledge and experience has enabled us to better understand the material benefits both for the vessel and for the environment”, Mr Hicks says. “We were impressed with how Hydro are working with their partners to deliver smarter solutions and for highlighting what should be the preferred choice in the industry. This is something that we want to help champion as well.” “Hydro is the aluminium company with the best products and knowledge in marine applications”, says Hilde Kallevig, Head of Brand & Marketing of Hydro. “This partnership with Arksen and their Foundation is part of our collaboration with forward-looking companies moving in a more sustainable direction, to communicate the importance in material selection and design in the global shift towards a more circular economy.”
Hydro entered the partnership early in the project, to provide Arksen with insights into optimising the aluminium construction and designing for recycling. “Only a small percentage of boats in Europe are recycled”, says Hydro’s UK Sales Manager David Goddard. “Projects like this from Arksen are a step in the right direction for the potential of recycling materials in the marine sector. For this project we have supplied Hydro Njørdal, an alloy which is stronger and more durable than other aluminium alloys. This also permits an innovative light-weight design, which greatly reduces energy consumption.”