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MP visits scientific research ship after it gets £5.5m for retrofit 

Ynys Môn MP Virginia Crosbie with Professor John Turner, Head of the School of Ocean Sciences Onboard The Prince Madog (Pic: Virginia Crosbie office)

THE YNYS MON MP has visited a scientific research vessel in Menai Bridge which has received £5.5 million in government funds for a  ‘green’ retrofit.

Commissioned by Bangor University the RV Prince Madog is used for research into the science of the seas around the UK, including the Irish Sea and Celtic Sea. It has been operating for more than 20 years.

The money from the Department for Transport has come from the £60 million Innovative Clean Maritime Technologies fund.

The cash will see the state of the art vessel undergo a two-year programme to equip it with a hydrogen propulsion system alongside a diesel-fuelled main engine. In normal operations it will reduce emissions by up to 60%.

The MP went aboard the Prince Madog to meet up with the Head of the School of Ocean Sciences Professor John Turner and Professor Paul Spencer, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research to discuss the ship’s, and the university’s, role in ocean research internationally and off the coast of Wales.

It is anticipated Prince Madog will eventually receive its hydrogen from Anglesey’s proposed Holyhead Hydrogen Hub backed by £4.8m in UK Government funding that the MP had helped secure.

“I was delighted to step onboard and meet with professors Turner and Spencer and get to look around Prince Madog just as it is embarking on this exciting green retrofit,” the MP said.

“Yet again UK government money is being invested on our island to secure its future and to unlock the potential of generations to come.

“I am particularly excited Prince Madog could one day receive its fuel from the Holyhead Hydrogen Hub. This is another substantial government investment in this green fuel and I am proud to have helped bring this project to the island.”

During the MP’s visit she also met Professor Shelagh Malham, Director of Research, School of Ocean Sciences and Chris Drew, Head of Strategic Partnerships and Projects, Bangor University.

Prince Madog is used for researching the biology, chemistry, geology, and physics of our seas. The vessel is also used to train the next generation of scientists at the School of Ocean Sciences.

According to the Bangor University website “the vessel enables the UK’s marine scientists to study the biology, chemistry, geology and physics of our seas”.

It says that it is “designed to take up to ten scientists and 20 students”. It adds: “The School of Ocean Sciences, Bangor and other university departments in the UK also use the vessel as a teaching platform, training the next generation of marine scientists.”