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140-year-old sailor turns to power

The Falls of Clyde, the only remaining sail-driven oil tanker in the world, is heading back to her birthplace in Scotland after sailing the seas for 140 years.

MIT has been approached by Falls of Clyde International (FOCI) to look at developing a sustainable diesel alternative power solution for this unusual project. FOCI is the organisation founded to save the historic Falls of Clyde, currently in Honolulu, from being 'scuttled' by the Honolulu harbours department.

Creator and director of FOCI, David O'Neill’s vision is not to keep her as a static nod to Scotland's proud nautical past by turning her into a dry-docked museum, but rather create a unique piece of history capable of sailing for a further 140 years.  David sees a carbon-neutral vessel that will fly the flag for Scotland's engineering and green tech abilities, "She will become a symbol of Scotland's lead in the world of new eco-technologies, alternative propulsion and hydrogen/ electric power systems".

MIT has an expert team of alternative power engineers that has been working on a range of solutions to deliver emission-free sailing. The initial plans are to use a combination of industry-leading marine thrusters, driven by either electric or hydrogen power and manufactured by Veth Propulsion.

Tom Binns, Sales Manager, MIT, said "With sustainability at the core of our business strategy, we are delighted to play a role in such a historical project. Backed by Veth Propulsion, we are confident we have the best solution to deliver years of emission-free sailing. We look forward to welcoming such a prominent part of Scottish maritime history back to our waters".

A new home for the vessel is currently under discussion along with a proposal to create a new maritime centre on site.

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