24 Aug 2021
Ports play a crucial role in the shipping industry. With the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions and develop zero-emission vessels by 2030, they now have the potential to contribute to transitioning to a more sustainable future by providing eco-efficient and low-carbon port operations and reception services.
To aid in decarbonisation, reducing waste and mitigating climate change, several maritime hubs have implemented environmentally-friendly technologies that will ensure that the IMO's goal is met. Here in my opinion are three ports around the world that are making sustainable waves in the maritime industry right now.
Mauritius Port Authority, Mauritius:
Aligning themselves with the IMO's target of zero emissions by 2040, the Mauritius Ports Authority (MPA) are implementing a wide range of initiatives that will ensure they reach this ambitious goal, including embarking on the implementation of the Green Port Concept. The objective of this concept is to ensure that the negative impacts of port activities are reduced on the environment with a high-level Green Port Committee spearheading the initiative.
The MPA has also taken visible steps to ensure that the environment is safeguarded for future generations, with the recycling of batteries, used oil, composting green waste, promoting sustainable use of paper and setting up a rainwater harvesting system, which forms part of their ongoing sustainable projects. Along with this, the Green Port Initiative has showcased its commitment to creating a sustainable port environment through the signing of a Port Environment Charter.
Port of Australia, Australia:
Ports of Australia go beyond business and view sustainability as a key factor when driving the future success of the shipping industry. While there are various ports throughout Australia varying in size, location, governance considerations and key demands, they all have one goal in common: ensuring that the environment is operational over the long-term.
Over the past few years, various ports across Australia have developed and implemented sustainable projects that include managing and building infrastructure in harmony with the local environment and going above and beyond to protect the indigenous marine life in local ports.
Leading the charge to zero emissions by 2030, the Port of Brisbane has moved towards renewable energy in the form of solar energy, developing the first phase of panel installation across the Port precinct. Even more incredible is Port of Newcastle's initiative, in collaboration with Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group, to restore 28 hectares of saltmarsh and mudflats from mangrove invasion, enabling migratory shorebirds to now utilize this area.
Tuas Port - Singapore:
The city-state of Singapore has long been a leader of innovation within the maritime industry, retaining its position as the Leading Maritime Capital of the World according to the Leading Maritime Capitals report. In an effort to stay abreast of the latest technologies and sustainability practices, Singapore has poured significant capital into creating the development and construction of Singapore's next-generation Tuas port project.
This massive undertaking has earned it the title of mega-port and will become fully operational by 2040. It will be considered as the world's largest fully automated terminal, offering state of the art technology that showcases the shipping industry's move towards a digital future. Unmanned vehicles and sustainable technologies are only the beginning when it comes to this one-of-a-kind project. Along with this, the port will be a completely greenfield site, which provides the opportunity for the project to be built in a climate-conscious and sustainable way. The environmental impact when constructing the port has also been carefully considered, with reused and recycled materials for more than 50% of the project.
Eco-conscious shipping operations
Whilst these ports are paving the way for a sustainable future within the shipping industry, vessel owners can do their part by limiting their impact on local marine life when entering ports by undergoing regular hull cleaning.
Biofouling has become a constant challenge for ships and the environment as the accumulation of these microorganisms, plants, small creatures and algae do significant damage to the local marine ecosystem. Attaching themselves to the ship's hull, regular hull cleaning is a must for an eco-conscious ship looking to reduce carbon emissions, limiting the cost of fuel usage and improving vessel drag.
An eco-friendly cleaning solution
With operational bases in Panama, Australia and Singapore – as well as Dubai including key locations across the Middle East, Denmark, Egypt, Gibraltar, South Korea, Namibia, Norway, Mauritius, Sri Lanka and Sweden - HullWiper's innovative ROV provides ship owners and operators with an option for a safe and eco-friendly hull cleaning solution. Our Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) removes fouling from vessel hulls using adjustable high-pressure seawater jets. Rather than polluting port waters and risking the spread of cross-pollination of marine species, and without releasing microplastics into the water column (brush cleaning!) all biofouling is captured onboard a filter unit for safe disposal onshore using the services a local environmental waste disposal company.
Along with aiding ships in their effort to reduce carbon emissions, HullWiper is a diver and brush-free alternative to traditional methods of underwater hull cleaning. With no harsh scrubbing or chemicals being used, a vessel's antifouling coat can be preserved. Our efficient and cost-effective solution cleans up to up to 96 - 97% faster than traditional methods and lasts 2-3 times longer, with the added benefit of reduced fuel consumption, which leads to a decrease in fuel spend.