Alongside this move towards alternative and more sustainable forms of power, the Great Yarmouth-based company has also announced a Memorandum of Understanding with Manchester Metropolitan University to undertake research and development into cleaner hydrogen-injected diesel engines and hydrogen fuel cell technology. This follows work with ORE Catapult, recognising the importance of offshore wind and the potential of green hydrogen production.
The collaboration will see the company working with the university and its £4.1m hydrogen fuel cell technology centre to develop engines utilising hydrogen injection which will significantly reduce overall emission levels. This forms part of a range of technological alternative power options Prior Power Solutions is currently developing.
Professor Andy Gibson, pro-vice-chancellor of the Faculty of Science and Engineering at Manchester Metropolitan, said: “We’re excited about developing this partnership with Prior Power Solutions and look forward to progressing to the next stage, focusing on developing transnational research where hydrogen fuel cells can be effective in helping organisations bridge the zero carbon innovation gap.”
Amer Gaffar, director of the Manchester Fuel Cell Innovation Centre (MFCIC), added: “I really look forward to developing this partnership with Prior Power Solutions. Our vision for the centre has always stemmed from the need to support businesses like Prior Power Solutions. We look forward to helping them with the journey towards transitioning to developing cleaner power solutions.”
With an international reputation for high-quality design and manufacturing, Prior Power Solutions supplies, services and supports a wide range of equipment including pumps, hydraulics, power gensets and compressors for a breadth of sectors including oil and gas, marine, construction and agriculture. Now in its 40th year, it is adapting its business model to also develop and supply electric, hybrid, gas and hydrogen powered products.
Research and development into cleaner diesel Stage V engines, hydrogen fuel cells, electric motors and hybrid power systems combining renewable energy sources such as photovoltaics and wind with engine generators is all being undertaken. Further R&D in more new markets is planned for 2021.
“Our team is our strength and with four decades of industry-specific experience, our ambition is to secure our position as a leading global player in the field of alternative power solutions,” said James Rix, managing director.
“We see hydrogen as a key component of the future energy mix. Our exciting collaboration with the MFCIC demonstrates our ability as a credible British manufacturer to adapt to and embrace change.”
James is keen to emphasise that the company will continue to support existing diesel engine and oil and gas customers. “We are highly regarded for our well serviced equipment, diesel engine support and offshore engineering. We will work with our global customers to enable them to easily implement cleaner diesel and alternative power technology as the world moves toward the next generation of clean fuel.”
The Paris Agreement commits to combat climate change. While oil and gas markets will continue, to accelerate and intensify the actions and investments needed for a sustainable low carbon future, there is increased need for investment and development with alternative power supplies and sustainable markets such as renewable energy.
Johnathan Reynolds, co-founder of Hydrogen East, a new organisation championing the hydrogen sector in East Anglia, said: “We have an amazing opportunity to utilise our expertise and assets to create a leading hydrogen cluster based around a vibrant local market.
“We have a wide range of dynamic businesses, such as Prior Power Solutions, pushing the boundaries of innovation and demonstration projects in hydrogen and other novel clean energy solutions. It is exciting to see the rapid growth in the sector.”
Prior Diesel Limited was established in 1980 as an extension to George Prior Engineering in Great Yarmouth, which carried out repair work on vessels operating in the North Sea. Now owned by HitecVision, Norway’s largest private equity investor, Prior Power Solutions is part of the newly-formed Moreld group of companies under HitecVision’s portfolio representing 3,600 employees globally.
Speaking of the name change, Andreas Marø, EVP business development for Moreld, said: “We’re excited about the name change, which fits very well with our strategic ambition to transform existing knowledge into new markets and being part of the energy transition.”
Stephanie Pimlott, marketing and business manager at Prior Power Solutions, said: “We have undertaken a total rebrand to secure our position in the global energy market going forward.”
The new logo builds on the original Prior Diesel logo, which was in turn a take on the Detroit Diesel logo – Prior Diesel’s original main product line. “Everything we do involves rotating equipment which the logo represents,” Stephanie points out. “The change in colours in our logo demonstrates the direction of growth of energy supply and a future sustainable world. Green represents hope, growth and prosperity and blue instilling trust, dependability and security.
“The whole workforce was engaged to help develop our strapline – Power Solutions for a Changing World. This speaks of our innovation and commitment to developing alternative, greener power solutions for all industries.”
Supporting the local economy is important to Prior Power Solutions. “We have used local companies for all aspects of our rebrand,” Stephanie concluded.