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Port leaders extend WPCAP for greener shipping

Port leaders extend WPCAP for greener shipping

(Posted on 31/05/23)

The World Port Climate Action Program (WPCAP) will be extended with a new focus on shore power, new fuels and green shipping corridors.

This was agreed by the CEOs and leaders of 12 leading ports at a meeting in Rotterdam on the occasion of the first five years of the program. WPCAP members praised the program for its important contribution to the adoption of sustainability standards in the shipping industry.

“The world has changed drastically in the past five years and climate is at the top of the international agenda today, including in the shipping industry”, said Allard Castelein, CEO of the Port of Rotterdam. “This is in part due to programs like WPCAP, and we still have an important role to play. The industry still needs leadership by ports and we need to prove now that we are part of the solution and can create momentum for real change.”

In the past years, WPCAP has significantly contributed to the faster adoption of shore power at ports, helping to reduce emissions of CO2 and pollutants while ships are at berth.

WPCAP members developed a global overview of existing facilities and best practice guidelines on their technical, operational and economic implementation and ports in Northwest Europe agreed on the faster adoption of shore power in an MoU.

Jarl Schoemaker: “We saw a shift from a situation where ports developed a few projects to large scale investment programs – the WPCAP ports present here in Rotterdam are planning more than 160 connection points with a total investment plan of more than 500 million euros. But we’re not there yet: various global ports are still lagging in this area even though studies show that shore power will have a tremendously positive impact, both short term and in the long run.”

The CEOs discussed the benefits of shore power, including improved air quality and a better working environment for shipping crews. They also exchanged views on stimulating its further adoption, noting that terminals and shipping lines also have an important role to play in this.

A recent study from CE Delft for the WPCAP working group shows that shore power will be part of the long-term maritime fuel mix and especially when ships will have to shift to expensive fossil free fuels. The working group is bringing this message to the maritime shipping industry and continues advocating its global implementation.

The second focus area for WPCAP in the coming years is to facilitate the bunkering and adoption of cleaner fuels. The ports have worked with the IAPH Clean Marine Fuels working group to create a Port Readiness Framework, a self-assessment and communications tool that allows various stakeholders to understand the different levels of research, development and deployment of new fuels at ports around the world.

“Given the urgency of the climate crisis and shipping’s commitments to reducing emissions in line with international regulations, we must take action now. It took almost nine years shipping to adopt LNG as a marine fuel. We cannot wait that long for the deployment of ammonia, methanol, hydrogen and other clean fuels,” said Namrata Nadkarni, chair of the working group on sustainable marine fuels and founder of maritime consultancy Intent Communications. “Our Port Readiness Level is an ideal way for ports to assess their ability to host vessel calls or bunker individual fuels, communicate this with stakeholders and identify areas where more resources are needed to meet their alternative fuel and technology ambitions. ”

The tool is expected to be ready for voluntary use by ports towards the end of the year.

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