Clean maritime: Port Zero project secures research funding

Port of Aberdeen

Port of Aberdeen. Credit: Felix Mooneeram

Port of Aberdeen takes a leading role in the maritime sector’s move to net zero with a feasibility study on decarbonisation.

About the project

The UK’s oldest port has taken an important step towards a carbon-free future after winning a funding bid of nearly £290,000.

Port of Aberdeen will use the funding to help speed up plans to become net zero by 2040.

The Port Zero project is part of the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition round two (CMDC2), part of the UK Shipping Office for Reducing Emission’s, which was launched in May 2022.

CMDC is funded by the Department for Transport and delivered in partnership with Innovate UK. As part of the CMDC2, over £14 million was allocated to 31 projects supported by 121 organisations from across the UK to deliver feasibility studies and collaborative research and development projects in clean maritime solutions.

Energy transition and international trade

The port’s Chief Executive, Bob Sanguinetti, said:

Port of Aberdeen is at the heart of the energy transition and international trade. We want 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.

The Port Zero study will look at ways the port can decarbonise its day-to-day operations at the new £400 million South Harbour development by analysing future power demands and assessing a range of low-carbon energy supply sources such as wind, solar, tidal and hydrogen. The learnings will be used to support transition across the port’s existing operations at North Harbour.

Port of Aberdeen’s Commercial Manager and Port Zero’s project manager, Marlene Mitchell, explained:

We recognise that technology changes quickly so we’re aiming to be very open minded and look at all options.

As a trust port, it’s really important that we make our local environment as clean and green as possible, not just for the benefit of the port and our users but also for the wider community.

Addressing cross sector challenges

Port of Aberdeen will partner with Energy Systems Catapult and Connected Places Catapult, with support from Buro Happold, to deliver the project.

Project partners are also planning to set up a ports and regional strategic advisory group that will include both port users and the wider service company sector.

Marlene added:

By bringing such a wide range of groups together, we’ll work together to address cross-sector challenges associated with decarbonisation. We’ll look to agree priorities and develop plans to deliver lifecycle emissions reductions which will maximise the positive impacts on a local, regional and national level.

Last updated: 22 March 2023

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