Dubai Harbour welcomed the Swiss experimental vessel powered solely by renewables, Porrima, to its marinas on 17 March 2022, as part of its worldwide journey across five continents called the Blue Odyssey.
Choosing Dubai Harbour for its second world destination, the first-of-its-kind solar, wind and hydrogen-powered ship has travelled more than 11,000 kilometres without stopping since departing Osaka, Japan, on December 18, 2021. Dubai Harbour is home to the region’s largest marina and features Bay Marina, Dubai’s first dedicated superyacht marina which can accommodate yachts up to 160m in length. It is also home to Palm View Marina and Harbour Marina offering 556 berths for yachts up to 40 metres and a curated mix of restaurants, cafes, and retail offerings.
Upon arrival at Dubai Harbour, the Porrima berthed at Harbour Marina in front of the Yacht Club building before unveiling a suite of renewable technologies that have been proven on board. It will invite the youth to join the ‘Blue Campus’ to learn the skills and build the talent around the showcased next-generation solutions to sustainable ocean industries and resource preservation.
Abdulla Binhabtoor, Chief Portfolio Management Officer, Shamal Holding, the company which owns Dubai Harbour, commented: “We are excited to welcome the Porrima to Dubai Harbour for its third odyssey around the globe. It is exciting to see how the intersection of technology and sustainability come together to help tackle the environmental challenges that we face today. Having just concluded our role as host of the Dubai International Boat Show, we witnessed a wide range of innovative, sustainable marine technology showcased at the show, which is a testament to the UAE’s dedication to promoting and embracing eco-friendly alternatives to protect our oceans. The PORRIMA brings sustainable mobility to the forefront, and we are committed to accelerating action to preserve a healthy planet for generations to come.”
The journey, which aims to arrive at its destination after a refit with 12 novel technologies in time for the opening of the Expo 2025 Osaka, will see the vessel dock at ports around the world to demonstrate how to tackle problems such as pollution and climate change through the use of commercially viable renewable technologies. The project comes in response to a call to action from the Japan Association for the 2025 World Exposition, which invites initiatives geared towards realising ‘an ideal future society.’
Porrima – named after the Roman goddess of the future – was the first in the world to circumnavigate the globe using only solar energy under its previous name, ‘Planet Solar’. Now, using solar, wind and hydrogen, the 36-metre 100-tonne vessel also utilises artificial intelligence and technologies inspired by nature. Just as lungs remove the CO2 from our blood, the same technique is used to clean seawater, isolate and destroy microplastics, making Porrima the only vessel in the word certified to produce and consume hydrogen on board.
The creator of the enterprise is the serial entrepreneur, economist, and author Gunter Pauli, who sets out to inspire the next generation with competitive and commercially viable renewable technologies and techniques. He said: “We need to wake up the entrepreneurs of the future, and I believe Dubai is the right place for this. The innovation and adoption of the kind of technologies that we are showcasing on the PORRIMA will have a fundamental role to play in the realisation of many of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals – and provide a blueprint for creating an ideal future society.”
Having been involved in the invention of technologies in support of sustainable resource use, in 1994, Pauli founded the Tokyo-based Zero Emissions Research and Initiatives think tank at the United Nations University. This network of 3,000 scientists got the Porrima Blue Odyssey project up and running. Pauli is also the author of “The Blue Economy - A Report to the Club of Rome - 100 innovations - 10 years - 100 million jobs”, translated to over 50 languages. The vessel will leave Dubai Harbour on the 31st of March to commemorate the closing of Expo 2022 and will continue its global voyage.