Port community meets in Valencia

Heidi Nielson
Port of Oslo's Heidi Nielson takes the floor. Credit Michele Witthaus
EcoPorts award presentation
EcoPorts award presentation. Credit Michele Witthaus
Lamia Kerdjoudj
Feport's Lamia Kerdjoudj. Credit Michele Witthaus
Victor Schoenmakers
Victor Schoenmakers explains WPCAP's aims. Credit Michele Witthaus
environmental policies session
Participants in the environmental policies session. Credit Michele Witthaus

GreenPort Cruise & Congress took place in Valencia, Spain, from 16-19 October 2018. Michele Witthaus reports on the highlights

Welcoming GreenPort Cruise delegates, Francesc Sánchez, General Manager, Port Authority of Valencia, said that the city’s cruise numbers were growing at about 3 per cent annually. “We are working very hard with the city in establishing a sustainable framework for all cruises.” Maximo Caletrio, Cruise Programme Director, Valencia Tourism, said: “Cruise tourism has increased from just 18 calls in 2000, about 10,000 passengers, to a forecast for this year of nearly 200 cruise calls and more than 420,000 passengers.” The city has invested in green shore excursions, including 141 km of cycle lanes.

Michael McCarthy, Chairman, Cruise Europe, said that investment would be needed by ports to meet the 2020 sulphur limit. “The diversity of new technologies means that different shipping lines are making different choices. The question many ports are facing is which investments to make to avoid a chicken and egg situation.”

Making the case for cold ironing, Davide Reale, Product Manager in Shore Power, Cavotec, said that since California introduced shore power in 2005, the state had seen a reduction of more than 80% in levels of particulate matter. “China is also starting to look to shore power to reduce pollution in ports.”

Sacha Rougier, Managing Director, Cruise Gate Hamburg, said that 30 per cent of ships visiting the German port already have an alternative energy supply. “We are in constant exchange with the cruise lines; we have set up an incentive for green ships and introduced a new environmental component.”

In contrast, Valeria Mangiarotti, Director of Environmental Issues, MedCruise, prompt heated debate by saying: “We don’t think cold ironing is possible for cruise. How is it possible to have renewable energy with cold ironing?” She highlighted the importance of LNG as an alternative fuel. “Our choice now is LNG, for its environmental benefits, stability on all quaysides, and capacity,” she said.

Rafael Company, R&D Manager, Valenciaport Foundation, said that the port is investing in LNG bunkering and a national heritage certification scheme, and is also improving its data collection sources for air emissions. Juan Ignacio Buenestado, LNG Bunkering, Business Development, Naturgy, argued: “We have an incentive to introduce LNG as a real alternative fuel.” His company will supply cruise vessels in Barcelona with LNG by mid-2020.

A shipowner’s perspective was provided by Guillermo Alomar Borràs, Fleet Manager, Balearia, who said: ‘We are pioneers in the use of LNG.’ Balearia will retrofit five ships in its fleet to use LNG in time for the new sulphur legislation.

Port reception facilities were the focus in the day’s final session. Anna Bobo-Remijn, European Commission, Directorate General for Mobility and Transport Maritime Safety Unit, said a new sanctions regime for infringements of MARPOL was “a significant amendment that will strengthen enforcement at sea.”

Gudrun Janssens, Director – Maritime Safety & Environment, European Community Shipowners’ Associations, warned of a need to be specific in terms of amount and type of waste. “We think it very difficult to have a one-size-fits-all recovery system.”

Paula Cristina Sengo, Environmental Technical Advisor, Sustainability and Estuary, Port of Lisbon, reported on ESPO’s recent deliberations regarding port reception facilities. “New provisions should use the ‘polluter pays’ principle,” she said. “Discussion is also welcome regarding new types of waste such as scrubber waste.”

Congress considers climate strategies

Opening GreenPort congress, Aurelio Martínez, Chairman, Port Authority of Valencia, said that his port’s carbon footprint was reduced by 17% in the 2008-2016 period while cargo throughput increased by 31%. “The port is seeking to enable a low-carbon transition by increasing its green energy share through promoting the use of LNG, hydrogen, and alternative energies such as solar and wind,” said Martinez. Raul Cascajo, Head of Environmental Policies, Valenciaport, said: “Valencia has measured greenhouse gases since 2008. Every two years, we calculate our carbon footprint.”

Representatives of two new port cooperation climate initiatives talked about their programmes. Victor Schoenmakers, director corporate strategy, Port of Rotterdam, introduced the World Ports Climate Action Program, launched in September 2018 as a cooperative venture between the ports of Hamburg, Barcelona, Antwerp, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Vancouver and Rotterdam. Describing the programme as “a coalition of the willing”, Schoenmakers invited ports worldwide to join.

Antonis Michail, Project Coordinator, World Ports Sustainability Programme, International Association of Ports & Harbours (IAPH), spoke about the World Ports Sustainability Programme, which IAPH launched earlier in 2018. “WPSP is an umbrella initiative for the international port sector,” he said. “We want to highlight the good work ports do on sustainability, working collectively.”

Air quality was another hot topic. Rosa Antidormi, senior policy officer, European Commission – DG Environment, spoke of increasing awareness of the issues. “With several member states facing legal action on air quality, this might be the right moment to look into further measures,” she said.

Port statistics reveal green targets

Isabelle Ryckbost, Secretary General, ESPO, presented the organisation’s Environmental Report for European Ports 2018, which found that 97% of participating ports have an inventory of relevant environmental legislation and 93% have defined targets for environmental performance. “In 2013, half of ports had a certified environmental management scheme; we now see seven out of 10 ports have one,” she said. In addition, 78% of ports consider climate change adaptation when planning new infrastructure projects.

Lamia Kerdjoudj Belkaid, Secretary General, Feport, said vertical cooperation was increasingly a theme for ports. “It doesn’t make sense to have a regulatory framework only applicable to ports. We need to link ports with the rest of the logistics chain or we have silo solutions which do not work.”

Obdulio Serrano Hidalgo, head of sustainability, Puertos del Estado, said that EU ports volume handled will increase by 50% by 2030 compared to 2011. “Actions we can take include improving rail transport and mobility of trucks in vicinity of ports, and moving traffic away from the city.”

Malte Siegert, head of environmental policy at German NGO NABU, said ports and terminals face challenges from digitalisation. “We are in the middle of a digital revolution that will have a massive impact on value added chains and way ports will work in future.”

Cross-border cooperation

International sustainability was the topic for Thomas Desnijder, energy policy advisor for cross-border port group North Sea Port. “We are developing a fuel strategy with renewables, such as green low-carbon hydrogen that can be used in logistical applications,” he said.

Ton van Breemen, environmental manager, Port of Amsterdam, discussed the port’s Noise Exploration Program to Understand Noise Emitted by Seagoing Ships (NEPTUNES) programme, in which 11 ports are taking part. “Various ports have been measuring noise from specific ships and we have produced a draft best practice guide,” he said.

Environmental management in terminals was tackled by speakers from MSC Terminal Valencia and Grimaldi Group. For MSC, electrification of all aspects of the terminal is paying dividends, while Grimaldi is looking to 12 new ro-ro hybrid ships that will deliver twice the efficiency per tonne transported of its other vessels.

Andreas Schruth, director of energy and sustainability management, EUROGATE, said his company was on target to reduce energy consumption by 25% by 2020 by switching to diesel-electric drives and LED lighting in terminals.

Chris Wooldridge, honorary research fellow, School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Cardiff University, moderated an interactive session on measuring environmental impacts. “Environmental management isn’t a comfortable thing; it’s a tremendous challenge,” said Wooldridge.

Douglas Daugherty, Western Region COO & director of strategy, Americas, Ramboll Environment & Health, gave an overview of progress in the PIANC Think Climate Coalition, which is considering how the navigation sector might adapt to a changing climate.

The need for ports to communicate their environmental activities was highlighted by Rosa Mari Darbra, associate professor, Polytechnic University of Catalonia, who said: “The fact that only 57% of ports publish an environmental report is something to work on.”

High ambition meets business realities

Discussion was lively on the second day of Congress, as port representatives discussed incentive schemes, supply chain ethics, greening bids and more.

Data gathered from a survey of attendees on the first day of the event was shared, revealing that the top environmental priorities of organisations attending the Congress are energy conservation, air quality, waste, noise and water quality. According to the survey, climate change is having an impact on 81% of ports.

Environmental charging schemes and incentives sparked debate after Christine Rigby, Environmental Specialist – Air Emissions, Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, detailed how her organisation was working with an advisory group that includes the ports of Gothenburg, Long Beach, Los Angeles and Vancouver along with ports bodies in China, the US and Canada. “There is a growing number of priorities and a growing disconnect for ports,” she said. “The cost benefits of incentives are not clear to everyone and information is stored in a different format at every site. We will be more effective by working together.”

World Ports Sustainability Programme technical director Antonis Michail introduced a discussion on The Environmental Ship Index (ESI). “ESI is a very important project for us,” he said. “It is a priority of ports worldwide, linked to the licence of ports to operate and to grow.”

Describing ESI as “a real success story”, the Port of Hamburg’s Manfred Lebmeier said: “Container ports and vessels are currently the main participants. We are looking at widening the ESI formula (to include noise and particulate matter) while leaving flexibility to incentive providers to elect relevant modules.”

Sotiris Raptis, senior policy advisor for environment and safety and EcoPorts Coordinator, ESPO, said: “We are not certain what incentive schemes deliver in terms of emissions reductions but what is critical is the market driver of reputation, which might in turn lead ships to become greener and more sustainable.”

Ethical aspects of sustainability

A panel on responsible supply chains discussed the place of partnerships and other initiatives. Linda van Waveren, CSR programme manager, Port of Amsterdam, talked about enforcement and supervision of commodity flows by local governments. “We believe the Port of Amsterdam has a responsibility to make these flows more sustainable because we are indirectly linked in the supply chain.”

Heidi Neilson, head of environment, Port of Oslo, made the case for proactive policies. “Not all countries will reach the climate target of reducing emissions by 40-50% by 2030. Rich ports have to reduce by more than 50%.” She said Oslo’s action plan to become the world’s first zero-emission port would see electric buses in port by 2020 and all ro-pax ferries would be zero-emission by 2025.

Green solutions

Green technological R&D was the focus of the final session of Congress. Alex Mateo, business development – Europe, Envirosuite, which provides instant air quality data for ports and terminals, said: “Using a cloud-based platform for real-time environmental impact monitoring, we can quickly identify a problem or investigate what has happened in the past.” Eduardo Prat, vice-president at Kalmar, said his organisation has created a cloud for fleet data to help manage the flow of cargo and equipment in terminals. “By 2021, all vehicles we supply to customers will be electric,” he said.

Ulrich Malchow, managing director for Hamburg’s Port Feeder Barge project, explained how the planned barge could fill a gap in transportation of goods in port. “We asked what would happen if we created a barge with its own crane.” Willem Nieuwland, project leader, Hyster, described the company’s virtual vehicle model, which is being developed to overcome the difficulties inherent in replacing traditional diesel-powered operations. Georg Franz Matzku of Stemmann-Technik, discussed his company’s shore power charging solutions for ferries, currently in use in Norway. “The system is a fully electric fully automated connector system that runs 24/7, 365 days a year, for 10 years,” he explained.

GreenPort Congress 2019 will be hosted by the Port of Oslo, Norway.

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