Port of Aberdeen docks six-figure sum from UK Government to accelerate drive to net zero by 2040

Port of Aberdeen has been awarded more than £200,000 from Westminster to accelerate its drive to net zero by 2040 – and it hopes to reel in further sums in future rounds.

The Port Zero feasibility study, part of the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition Round 2 (CMDC2), will analyse future port power demands, assess low-carbon energy sources for equipment (such as cranes, tugs, and pilot boats) and quayside infrastructure, and develop a roadmap to decarbonise port operations.

Port of Aberdeen, which has been undergoing major expansion, said the study – being delivered in partnership with Energy Systems Catapult, Connected Places Catapult, and engineering consultancy Buro Happold – aligns with the emissions reductions goals published in the Department for Transport’s Clean Maritime Plan. The project partners also aim to develop a Ports and Regional Strategic Advisory Group to address cross-sector challenges of decarbonisation, and agree priorities, develop a plan to deliver optimum lifecycle emissions reductions, and work to address relevant policy gaps.

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The hub previously known as Aberdeen Harbour is also partnering on the CMDC2 Green Shipping Corridors feasibility study led by sea monitoring and protection firm Acua Ocean, and expected to develop an in-depth plan for the world's first hydrogen-powered zero-emission crossing demonstration from Port of Aberdeen to Norway in 2024, deemed an economically important potential green shipping corridor route.

Port of Aberdeen says the Port Zero project will develop a roadmap to decarbonise operations. Picture: contributed.Port of Aberdeen says the Port Zero project will develop a roadmap to decarbonise operations. Picture: contributed.
Port of Aberdeen says the Port Zero project will develop a roadmap to decarbonise operations. Picture: contributed.

CMDC2 was launched in May, funded by the Department for Transport and delivered in partnership with Innovate UK, the UK's national innovation agency. It has seen more than £14 million allocated to 31 projects supported by 121 organisations across the UK to deliver feasibility studies and collaborative research and development projects in clean maritime services.

Port of Aberdeen chief executive Bob Sanguinetti said: “Aberdeen’s port is at the heart of the energy transition and international trade. Our goal is to accelerate the transition to net zero through the development and introduction of innovative technology and processes which reduce emissions for the port, its users and supply chain. The funding for our Port Zero project will help make this a reality.

“Public sector collaboration and investment in ports is essential to decarbonise the maritime industry and achieve government net zero targets. The Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition is a positive example of government support in action, and we hope to be successful in future funding rounds.”

Dr James Dickinson, UK director of energy at Buro Happold, branded the Port Zero initiative “ground-breaking”, adding: “There are fantastic opportunities to decarbonise the port and the wider shipping sector, and Buro Happold are delighted to be supporting the Port of Aberdeen on the journey to net zero carbon.”

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