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What’s Got Us Talking 4th February 2022

The latest news from across the industry that ‘got us talking’

Welcome to our weekly news round-up! Take a look at ‘what’s got us talking’, a collection of topical industry news from both our marine and industrial sectors.


Northern Ireland’s fishing sector close to catching £100M investment  

The funding will be spread across the three main harbours at Kilkeel, Ardglass and Portavogie.

Northern Ireland’s fishing industry is one step closer to a funding boost worth more than £100 million to help grow and diversify.

Fisheries minister Edwin Poots said he has secured a “significant amount of money” to carry out analysis of development proposals which have been put forward for the three main fishing ports, which include adapting them for larger vessels. 

The proposals include £73million to create a new harbour at Kilkeel which would also see it become what the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Affair (DAERA) called an Irish Sea Marine Hub – a centre of economic and marine activity for things such as aquaculture, leisure boating and boat repair and decommissioning.

Komatsu take part in Stardust programme

KOMATSU has been selected to participate in a Japanese project to promote the development of innovative technologies for autonomous construction in outer space.

Managed by the Japanese Government, the project is part of MILT’s Strategic Programme for Accelerating the Research, Development and Utilization of Space Technology (Stardust Programme).

Komatsu’s proposal for the development of digital twin technology for lunar construction equipment has been selected as an eligible target technology related to autonomous construction (automation and remote control).

The company, which is already working to achieve safe, highly productive, smart, and clean workplaces of the future by advancing products (automation and autonomy of machines) and processes (optimization of construction operations), says it will utilize its accumulated knowledge in the development of digital twin technology for lunar construction equipment.

Strong year for construction equipment sales

UK construction equipment sales increased by 48% in 2021 compared with previous year  

Retail sales of construction and earthmoving equipment maintained their strength in the final quarter of 2021 and showed an increase of just under 18% compared with the fourth quarter of 2020. As a result, sales for the whole of 2021 finished the year at 48% above 2020 levels, reaching more than 36,000 units for the equipment types covered in the construction equipment statistics exchange run by Systematics International in partnership with the Construction Equipment Association (CEA).

This means that sales last year exceeded the levels reached in 2018 and 2019, which were reported as being peak levels for the industry since before the ‘financial crash’ a decade earlier. According to the CEA, this is consistent with comments from many of its members, who have been saying that 2021 was a ‘record year’ in recent times for product sales.

John Deere acquires electric speedboat battery company

One of the world’s largest equipment manufacturers has purchased a majority stake in Kreisel Electric, the company building the electric speedboat battery for the Racebirds in the upcoming E1 Series powerboat championship.

John Deere intends to continue to invest in and develop technologies ‘to innovate, deliver value to customers, and work towards a future with zero emissions propulsion systems’. 

According to a report by Plugboats.com, in addition to the batteries, John Deere was attracted by Kriesel’s CHIMERO high-speed charging infrastructure platform, which can charge an electric vehicle from zero to 80 per cent in 20 minutes and is built for easy installation.

Equality fund launched to make fishing workplaces more inclusive and diverse

A two-year equality fund has been launched to make Scottish workplaces, including those in the agriculture and fishing industries, more inclusive and diverse.

The Scottish Government-funded initiative, with £800,000 available in its first year, aims to address longstanding barriers in the labour market so that everyone – irrespective of gender, age, race, or disability – can fulfil their potential and improve Scotland’s economic performance as a result. 

The funding is used for projects focused on one or more priority groups from the following list: women; minority ethnic workers; disabled workers; older workers (those aged over 50); people who experience gender-based violence; workers who are experiencing social isolation and/or loneliness; workers experiencing symptoms of the menopause; and veterans and spouses of veterans.