Dear Orkney News,
The recent announcement that Rolls-Royce had sold off its marine division to a Norwegian company reminded me of BAE Systems offloading its share of Airbus. It seemed strategically and financial short sighted at the time, and so it has proved.
The Rolls-Royce move looks to be just as short sighted. The carbon reduction spotlight is finally shining on shipping, and will probably impact in the first instance on vessels which sail on short to medium length voyages.
This means that companies, research centres and universities that can provide the goods and services to decarbonise the marine sector will flourish in the coming decades. A sign of this is the recently announced project to design, build and test a hydrogen-electric marine drivetrain at Ferguson Marine on the Clyde.
Rolls-Royce has taken the standard British big business short termism route. I can only hope that there are plenty of companies in Scotland and the wider UK that think like Ferguson Marine and not like Rolls-Royce.
Jon Southerington, Orkney