Zero Emission Ports North Sea – Project Approved

Written on the 15th July, 2019

The Zero Emission Ports North Sea (ZEM Ports NS) project application has been approved by the North Sea INTERREG Steering Committee at its meeting on 17 & 18 June 2019.  The project facilitates the use of zero emission fuels (green electric and hydrogen) in the NSR ports and maritime sector. It looks at the role of ports in the interface between zero emission vessels and port infrastructure. It especially addresses the integration of zero emission fuels into the port refuelling infrastructure and local energy systems as well as port and on-ship energy storage.

The project is funded under the Promotion of Green Transport and Mobility Priority (Priority 4) of the North Sea INTERREG Programme  and has a total project cost of €4.27 million with an INTERREG contribution of €2.135 million.  It will begin September 2019 and continue until early 2023.  The Lead Beneficiary is South Denmark University which leads a partnership that includes Aero Municipality, Future Proof Shipping, The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), the PURE Energy Centre, the Port of Oostende, SSPA Sweden and Stromstad Municipality.

The project addresses the shared challenges of emission reduction in ports and the maritime
industry. The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) wants to reduce maritime sector
emissions by 50% by 2050 compared with 2008 levels. Studies suggest that this cannot be
reached solely through greater LNG use and zero emission fuels must play a key role in emission
reduction. This major challenge needs a transnational approach due to the international nature
of the industry. The NSR is a world leader in zero emission technology. The project outlines the
actions ports must take to support and enable zero emission vessels to operate effectively. It
will include practical solutions that ports should initiate to service larger scale electric vessels
and other harbour users.   Equally it looks at ways in which hydrogen production, bunkering and storage
for hydrogen fuel cell vessels should be developed to promote the growth of these vessels

The project examines  the electricity needs  of the MS Color Line in the port of Stromstad (Sweden.)  The Color Line Hybrid is the World’s largest plug-in hybrid ferry and operates between Stromstad and the Norwegian port of Sandefjord –  a two and a half hour journey.  The project also look at the green electricity needs of the electric ferry operating from the island of Aero in Southern Denmark to Fynshav. The ferry is a medium sized passenger and car ferry with largest range in the World – around 40 km. The construction of the ferry was funded under the Horizon 2020 Programme (further details  see   ZEM Ports NS will look at the green electricity needs of the ferry in the Port of Aero as well as the electricity needs of other harbour users through economic modelling, so that a business case for the generation of green local electricity can be developed.

The development of hydrogen as a fuel will be a key component of the project.  It will part-fund the retrofit of a barge operating between Rotterdam and Meerhout near Antwerp.   There is growing interest in the retrofitting of barges with hydrogen fuel cells on Europe’s inland waterways and the lessons learned on these waterways can then be transferred to short sea shipping routes.   The Port of Oostende leads a Two Seas INTERREG project which sees the use of fuel cells in four retrofitted barges.  Through ZEM Ports NS, it wishes to assess the hydrogen needs of its port.  The Marine Energy Centre is looking at the needs of hydrogen in the ports of the Orkney Islands.  Orkney already has a Duel Fuel ferry running under the HyDime project and a ferry should be operational  in 2021 through the HySeas III Project which is funded through Horizon 2020.  An important part of any hydrogen ports project will include the training needs of staff dealing with hydrogen, particularly refuelling and safety.  Training packages will also be developed in the project with the PURE Energy Centre leading this element of the project.


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