At Riviera Maritime Media’s webinar ’The role of ports in decarbonising the maritime industry’, experts spoke about the methods and measures ports and other stakeholders are taking to reduce emissions in the maritime sector; one key theme was shore power infrastructure in ports
The webinar, which took place during Riviera Maritime Media’s Maritime Air Pollution Webinar Week held in association with Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems Association (EGCSA), was part of our ongoing series of webinars.
Attendees heard from EGCSA director Don Gregory, Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT) director for forest products and specialty cargoes Ricardo Schiappacasse, Antwerp Port Authority technical manager environment Katrien Van Itterbeeck, DNV GL director for blue economy (North America) Jennifer States and Port of Helsinki head of sustainable development Andreas Slotte.
Ms States’ presentation indicated that cross-sector and cross-agency collaboration is a "common thread" that is critical for port decarbonisation efforts. In her presentation, Ms States who also serves as a project leader at industry decarbonisation alliance group Washington Maritime Blue, said DNV GL has a forthcoming report on "Ports as green gateways" and shared examples of transitions the company has seen in port decarbonisation in North America.
More port-connected activities are undergoing electrification, Ms States revealed in one of the examples. In the Pacific northwest, Tacoma Power, the public utility for Washington state, has developed a shore power tariff that achieves cost recovery without a demand charge.
With a focus on fuel switching in maritime transport, Washington state plans to electrify all vessels in its fleet, which is the largest in the US. The US is on track this year to produce more energy from renewables than from fossil fuels for the first time in the nation’s history.
DNV GL is also working with a consortium for a new project that will use Tacoma Power’s ‘green’ hydrogen production system to use formic acid as a liquid hydrogen carrier for the maritime trade for the future. The application for the project, comprising a 1-MW fuel cell and storage tank, could allow a mobile cold ironing facility to become a reality. The company is seeking federal funding for this, Ms States said.
With regard to regulations, the California Air Resources Board is considering expanding the type and number of ships that must use shore power or other alternative power sources to reduce air pollution while at berth for up to 70% of port calls.
On North America’s eastern seaboard, Mr Schiappacasse said the port of Jacksonville has two liquefaction facilities it is using in an effort to remove emssions and that while the port has not yet installed shore power, installing a mobile platform for shore power remains the aim.
He said “Our electric power company has not developed much for the port, because we are using what is required. They are investing in solar power [elsewhere], but as far as the port is concerned, the substation cost is prohibitive.”
Shifting continents to Europe, Ms van Itterbeeck used the Port of Antwerp’s data to show that over 70% of vessel emissions take place in berth and said the port is taking several steps in mitigating these emissions by considering shore power development plans. If successful, she said most of the port’s local NOx emissions would be removed. Regarding greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) as a whole, Ms van Itterbeeck reiterated the need for collaboration toward global solutions.
In Helsinki, Europe’s largest passenger port, Mr Slotte said the port is committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2035. The port is investing €1.8M (US$2M) in its onshore power station (OPS) to help reduce emissions in port, and there are plans to install a second OPS for ferries and a third by 2022.
Port representatives were reluctant to put an exact number on the costs vessel owners may incur as a result of installing shore power. Mr Slotte said general price estimates can vary widely but said vessel power is exempt from taxes which creates an incentive to use tax-free fossil fuels instead of shore power, but this might change under the EU’s new green deal.
Ultimately, the panellists agreed collaboration is key to maritime industry decarbonisation. Mr Gregory, Ms van Itterbeeck and Ms States stressed the need for joined-up thinking and increased collaboration between stakeholders and regulators and possible multi-sector involvement. As Mr Gregory noted, “it is eminently and evidently important. Sometimes we think we are [collaborating] but we aren’t because we are missing people”.
You can view the webinar, in full, in our webinar library.
And you can sign up to attend upcoming webinars on our events page.
For full poll results from the webinar, please scroll down.
(From left to right) Port of Helsinki head of sustainable development Andreas Slotte, DNV GL director for blue economy (North America) Jennifer States, Antwerp Port Authority technical manager environment Katrien Van Itterbeeck, Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT) director for forest products and specialty cargoes Ricardo Schiappacasse and EGCSA director Don Gregory