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Press Release: Azimut 20-Year Journey Toward Carbon-Neutral Yachts: Seadeck 9 & Grande 30M Unveiled

20 years after initiating Azimut groundbreaking strategy to reduce CO2 emissions, the shipyard proudly unveils concrete achievements and sets new ambitious targets. This journey has been not only endorsed by the scientific community but also illuminated by an unwavering commitment to implement transformative technologies with immediate environmental benefits. Additionally, Azimut is excited to announce its upcoming Seadeck 9 and Grande 30M models.

Cannes, September 13th, 2023 – Azimut, a leader in crafting yachts that seamlessly blend technology and elegance, celebrates the nautical new year and the 45th Cannes Yachting Festival by hosting a press conference dedicated to its journey towards minimizing CO2 emissions and reducing its environmental footprint. During this event, Azimut shared the tangible outcomes of its endeavors, independently verified by a panel of esteemed scientists, and unveiled its new objectives, backed by concrete actions and strategic partnerships aimed at guiding the industry towards progressive decarbonization. These partnerships include collaborations with Politecnico di Torino, Eni Sustainable Mobility, Lloyd’s Register, and the Superyacht Eco Association, a non-profit organization initiated by the Yacht Club de Monaco and Credit Suisse.

The milestones achieved on Azimut’s sustainable journey, which encompasses the testing of the first onboard fuel cell, the development of the initial hybrid yacht, and the introduction of a fleet of Low Emission Yachts that emit up to 30% less CO2 than their counterparts using shaft line propulsion, were showcased alongside the unveiling of two new models, the Seadeck 9 and the Grande 30M.

For over two decades, Azimut’s approach to emissions reduction has been rooted in continuous research and investment in cutting-edge technologies aimed at making an immediate difference. As Giovanna Vitelli, Chair of the Azimut|Benetti Group, affirms, “We don’t simply wait for future solutions; we combine forward-looking research with practical, real-world answers, all while validating our work through rigorous scientific and certification processes.”

Azimut’s commitment extends to the quest for alternatives to fossil fuels, a mission championed by the Group R&D department, which tirelessly explores and assesses solutions ranging from biodiesel to synthetic fuels. Seeking an objective, scientific evaluation of these options, Azimut partnered with the Energy Department of Politecnico di Torino and Professor Massimo Santarelli, an expert in Advanced Energy Systems. The study conducted by Politecnico di Torino evaluated alternative fuels for the pleasure boating industry, including HVO biodiesel, methanol, and hydrogen, comparing their efficiency, safety, availability, and costs in both the short and medium term.

The results, presented by Professor Santarelli, underscored the advantages of biodiesel over methanol and hydrogen. While green or synthetic methanol shows promise in the long term for reducing CO2 emissions, production and distribution challenges hinder its immediate adoption. Gray methanol, on the other hand, has a higher overall environmental footprint than traditional diesel. According to Professor Santarelli, “Today, biodiesel is the only viable alternative to fossil fuel and is currently the most effective option for contributing to the decarbonization of the pleasure boating sector.”

HVO biodiesel emerges as the most mature and immediately usable solution, requiring minimal adjustments to storage and propulsion systems. This finding has motivated Azimut’s R&D department to continue exploring forward-thinking options, reinforcing the company’s commitment to combining diesel-electric or hybrid propulsion with cutting-edge naval architecture, such as Azimut’s Low Emission Yachts with carbon fiber construction, highly efficient hulls, advanced propulsion systems, and the use of the best alternative fuels. This integrated approach represents the path to a significant reduction in CO2 emissions, commencing today.

Azimut|Benetti Group and Eni Sustainable Mobility have solidified their partnership following Politecnico di Torino study, which corroborated Azimut’s direction. This collaboration marked a historic milestone in the sector, with the company partnering with Eni Sustainable Mobility, a subsidiary of Eni, dedicated to accelerating the journey toward carbon-neutral mobility. Announced in June 2023, this agreement entails the replacement of traditional fuels with HVOlution, a renewable biofuel developed by Eni, for sea trials, technical tests, and prototype transfers. This initiative is projected to reduce CO2 emissions by up to 90% compared to conventional fossil fuels, depending on the specific raw materials used for production.

Azimut R&D department was the first to extensively test HVOlution biofuel for nautical applications. Furthermore, Azimut incorporated biodiesel in laboratory tests for the new Magellano 60, resulting in over 80% lower CO2 emissions compared to a similarly sized yacht powered by traditional fossil fuels.

Azimut|Benetti Group collaboration with Lloyd’s Register and the Superyacht Eco Association represents a significant step forward in fostering environmental sustainability within the industry. Recognizing the growing importance of emissions considerations in yacht purchases, Azimut has joined forces with Lloyd’s Register and the Superyacht Eco Association to establish transparent and standardized communication channels, enabling owners to collect, compare, and make informed decisions based on environmental data, akin to the practices seen in the automotive and real estate sectors.

As of September 2023, Azimut has become a corporate member of the SEA Index, thereby supporting the association’s efforts to create an objective carbon emissions index for yachts under 24 meters, a category that includes some of Azimut’s iconic models.

This initiative represents a crucial step in promoting transparency and accountability within the industry. Natalie Quévert, General Secretary of the Superyacht Eco Association, emphasizes that “SEA Index was created to mobilize the sector to undertake concrete interventions to reduce CO2 emissions. Thanks to the partnership with Azimut, SEA Index can also certify yachts under 24 meters, with the ambition of reaching a number of owners to start an unprecedented movement.”

Azimut’s CEO, Marco Valle, concludes, “Less than one year ago, I announced the Group’s desire to involve the nautical world in the development of an objective index to compare consumption and emissions. Today, thanks to the collaboration with Lloyd’s and SEA Index, that tool exists. The Azimut yachts in Cannes are displayed with their key impact data, certified by a third party and shared with owners as well as the public.” Azimut aims to pioneer a new era of conscientiousness within the nautical industry, with concrete actions to progressively certify all new boats, thereby making consumption and emissions data readily accessible for reference.

The Seadeck 9 and Grande 30M, as Azimut’s new ambassadors of sustainability, are among the first models included in this initiative. The Seadeck 9 stands out as the third Seadeck model, representing a groundbreaking series of hybrid yachts designed for families, boasting unparalleled efficiency that results in a reduction of up to 40% in CO2 emissions, whether cruising or anchored, compared to traditional flybridge boats of similar dimensions. Additionally, the Grande 30M, unveiled during the Cannes press conference, marks a pivotal point in Azimut’s collaboration with ZF, featuring the first-ever POD 4900, jointly developed by Azimut and ZF.

In adherence to EU Directive 2018/2001 “REDII,” HVOlution biofuel is derived from renewable raw materials. According to the conventional criterion of Directive (EU) 2018/2001 “REDII,” the reduction in CO2eq emissions of HVOlution throughout its logistics-production chain in 2022 ranged from 60% to 90%, in comparison to the reference fossil mix (i.e., 94g CO2eq/MJ), depending on the raw materials used for its production.

Azimut resolute efforts are steering the nautical industry towards a more sustainable and environmentally responsible future. This commitment will be substantiated through tangible actions, such as the progressive certification of all new vessels, setting a new standard for the industry and reaffirming Azimut’s dedication to safeguarding our planet for generations to come.

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