Aberdeen Harbour Takes the Lead in Maritime Decarbonization with Green Shore Power Investment

Ritika Pathak

, Global Hour

Maritime transport demand has expanded with the global population and trade in recent decades and is connected with greater pollution levels, including GHG and other polluting gas emissions. UK government predicts that the relaxation of COVID-19 limitations would result in a rise in emissions of 6%, with an increase in road transport accounting for around 50% of the rise. Despite having a population of less than 1%, the UK has historically produced roughly 3% of all human-caused CO2 emissions worldwide, with a current rate of less than 1%.

Ports are significant components of marine transportation and contribute to pollution emissions. Various studies have shown that indirect emissions caused by port users have the potential to be quite enormous. It can include emissions from boats, vehicles, and railcars that call at the port to transport and load goods and warehouses on port territory owned and managed by third parties. UK government has been concerned about it for some time and recently announced its decision to adopt the idea of Green Shore Power to help reduce the transmissions. The reason for adopting this idea is that studies have shown that Green Shore Power could reduce carbon emissions by 90 percent and minimize noise and air pollution.

To this end, the 887-year-old Aberdeen Harbour in Scotland, United Kingdom, has decided to invest a record US $625 million in infrastructure development. The reason is to become the first port in the Kingdom to become a net zero port by 2040. After receiving more than £400,000 from the Department for Transport’s Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition, the harbor is finishing a feasibility study on installing green shore power at its berths. They work with Connected Places Catapult, Buro Happold, and the Tyndall Centre. The plans include stating the facility of low-carbon alternative fuels for client vessels which will generate significant reductions in emissions in the future. The Scottish port has deployed electric vehicles and installed LED lights on its quayside to achieve this momentous task.

“Strong partnerships and investment across the public and private sectors are essential to deliver this transformational change which will deliver significant benefits for the environment, local communities, and wider maritime sector.” –  Bob Sanguinetti, Chief Executive, Port of Aberdeen.

The port management has understood the requirement of a phased approach and strong partnerships with stakeholders, investors, and ship owners that clients to the port. As a result, numerous efforts are now in progress or are planned, such as evaluating onsite energy generation for the port estate and testing hydrotreated vegetable oil for port-owned ships and equipment. For offshore wind, hydrogen, and decommissioning projects, the port has already received £400 million. Cruise ships will also be able to dock there.

Aberdeen Port has, thus, established itself as a leader in marine decarbonization collaboration, obtaining funding and collaborating on the first three rounds of the Department of Transport’s Clean Marine Demonstration Competition and collaborating with industry partners on innovative green initiatives. It is a big step for the conservation and preservation of the environment. In addition, this port has inspired other ports, like the one in California, to adopt similar strategies.


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