18 Jan 2022
The shipping industry's Greenhouse Gas Emissions still make up a significant portion of the world's total emissions, and as the demand for commercial goods continues to grow and trade continues to expand, this does not appear to be slowing down any time soon. So, lets have a look down the rabbit hole!
As a result, various port authorities around the world are getting onboard with policies and regulations to help mitigate climate change and to safeguard our oceans for future generations. Numerous green initiatives have been developed that align with the International Marine Organization's (IMO) goal of reducing GHG emissions by 70% by 2050.
Considered one of the busiest shipping ports in the Middle East, and home of HullWiper HQ, sustainability forms part of the Port of Jebel Ali's overall goals and business strategies. Renewable energy, energy conservation and cleanup campaigns are all key components to its drive towards sustainability.
The port’s headquarters in Jebel Ali installed solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on the building’s rooftop and cark park and now operates as a carbon neutral facility. Clean Up campaigns have been established across the ports of the UAE with an annual focus on keeping oceans, waterways and proximity land environments surrounding waterfronts free from debris. This initiative extends to underwater cleaning campaigns with trained teams of divers that are helping to reduce the negative impact on ecosystems and marine life.
To ensure that oceans and waterways remain as clean as possible, a designated crew mans a purpose-built cleaning vessel that monitors and cleans up the Harbor at Jebel Ali Port.
The Port of Gothenburg is considered one of Scandinavia's largest ports and is committed to sustainability through innovation. Several green initiatives have been implemented, which align with the IMO's goal of decarbonizing the shipping industry and switching to fossil fuels.
The Port of Gothenburg and Norwegian energy company Statkraft are working together to construct a hydrogen production facility that will be established at the port, with operations set to begin in 2023. The planned facility will have an initial capacity of four MW and is estimated to produce up to two tonnes of hydrogen per day. This equates to roughly 2 200 liters of diesel and could help significantly reduce carbon emissions by around four tonnes every day.
The Port Authority's commitment to reducing global GHG emissions go beyond shipping and include an initiative to lower the carbon emissions generated from road transports to and from the Port of Gothenburg each year. Working alongside Volvo, Scania, and Stena Line, the “Tranzero Initiative” is a project that offers the necessary infrastructure from the Port of Gothenburg for a fossil-free transition, with Volvo and Scania presenting offerings for their heavy truck customers that will ensure an effortless switch.
Australia is an island nation that relies heavily on trade, and with a vast portion of global commerce being carried by sea, ports play a fundamental role in the daily lives and prosperity of Australia. Ports Australia have been at the forefront of environmental change and sustainability within the shipping industry. They place communities and the natural environment front and centre as it attributes sustainability planning as a critical component to economic success and serving the nation's communities.
The Port of Brisbane has made a major push towards alternative energy sources and aligning with the United Nations' Sustainable Development goals, which includes affordable and clean energy and responsible consumption and production. The Solar Energy Initiative was first implemented in 2018, rolling out the first phase of panel installations across the Port precinct. The initiative was introduced with a development plan that is projected to take place over the next 30 years, with short-term and ongoing goals laid out for the implementation of renewable energy. Currently, the port now has 182 kilowatts of solar panels which produce, on average, 1269 kWh of energy a day.
This initiative includes the Solar Powered Automatic River Cleaner trial. Established in 2021, the project tackles the issue of marine debris in our oceans by supporting an innovative rubbish clean-up at the mouth of the Brisbane River - a garbage hotspot and ecologically significant area. The project was developed with the aim of establishing a safe and sustainable method with which to collect litter, giving birth to the Solar Powered Automatic River Cleaner (SPARC). In partnership with the Port of Brisbane and Ocean Crusaders, the collection device can be used in rivers to collect debris, lift it out of the water and place it in a bin where it is ready to be removed.
Going beyond ports
As port authorities focus on the important task of protecting our environment, ship owners and operators are doing their part to support the vision for sustainable operations. One of the biggest challenges that vessels have come up against is the cross-contamination of waters by invasive species carried via ship hulls.
This cross-pollination occurs when foreign marine microorganisms, plants, algae, or small marine creatures are carried on vessel hulls from one location to another and are released into waters that do not form part of their natural ecosystem. This negatively impacts the natural oceanic ecosystem as these invasive species compete for local resources. Vessel hulls need to be regularly maintained and cleaned to avoid the spread of these invasive species into foreign waters.
Going green with HullWiper
HullWiper utilizes eco-friendly underwater hull cleaning methods that are approved by local port authorities in Australia, UAE, and Sweden, delivering a sustainable solution through its remotely operated vehicle (ROV).
HullWiper's ROV is a cost-effective method that offers an alternative solution to the traditional brush/kart method that often damages expensive anti-fouling coatings and inadvertently allow the release of marine fouling into local waters.
To minimize the risk of damage and the spread of invasive species, the ROV utilises adjustable high-pressure seawater jets to removes fouling. It is then collected through a unique onboard filter system for safe disposal onshore, thereby significantly reducing the risk of cross-pollination of these foreign species while simultaneously contributing to the optimal performance, energy efficiency and CO2 emissions of vessels.
Regular hull cleaning not only ensures a positive impact on our oceans but a shipowner's bottom line. HullWiper is also operational in Denmark, Gibraltar, Mauritius, Namibia, Norway, Panama, South Korea, Singapore and Sri Lanka.