Rain of projects in the ports to reduce the environmental impact of the sector


The naval and port sectors accelerate their transformation to reduce the carbon footprint generated by its activity on land and seas. Close to 80% of the world’s goods are moved by ship and reducing the environmental impact has become one of the primary objectives for both the players in the sector and the institutions that regulate them.

The European institutions are being the most active actors, to meet their objectives set in the European Green Pact that set the reduction of emissions by 55% by 2030 and in full by 2050. To do this, they have agreed on measures to reduce greenhouse gases, such as inclusion of maritime transport in the emission rights trading regime or the use of more sustainable fuelswhich will mainly affect ships of more than 5,000 tons and which represent 90% of the sector’s CO2 emissions.

These decarbonisation plans have also become part of the strategies of the Spanish port authoritieswhich have a series of investments underway or in the pipeline to implement renewable energy in their facilities, reduce the use of fossil fuels or face the challenge of incorporating hydrogen and biofuels.

Barcelona will install a biomethane plant in its port

The most prominent announcement in this area has come this week, when the Barcelona’s port has announced its intention to build a biomethane plant that supplies clean fuel to ships. For its operation, 60,000 tons of organic waste per year will be needed, which the port authority hopes to obtain from Mercabarna, restaurants and the gardens located in the port

According to its forecasts, this plant could produce about 15,000 cubic meters of liquefied natural gas (LNG), the equivalent of 25% of the fuel supplied each year to floating tankers that facilitate the refueling of others on the high seas (bunkering). It has also announced the start-up of an energy community in one of its docks, with the intention of expanding it in a second phase to the entire port.

The port sector looks towards biofuels as an alternative to fossil fuels both on land and at sea

This proposal is in line with the demands of the European Parliament, which recently approved that container ships and passenger ships connect to the electricity supply of the ports when they dock, so that they turn off their auxiliary diesel engines during docking and reduce the air pollution in these environments.

This line of work is part of the main investment project of the port of Bilbao, which will allocate 52 million euros to electrify its docks before 2025 to supply electricity to ships at berth, in line with the requirements of Brussels.

The first self-sufficient port in Europe will be in Gandia

This very week, the port authority of Valencia (ValenciaPort) has announced its plan to provide the Port of Gandía with a new photovoltaic plant that covers its own energy demandbecoming the first self-sufficient port in Europe.

An investment of 1.7 million euros will facilitate the installation of solar panels on an area of ​​4,500 square meters located in one of the sheds, which will be dedicated to the generation of an annual power of 990 MWh and the installation of storage equipment for Energy.

It will not be the only photovoltaic plant that ValenciaPort installs, since its plan is to become a zero emissions port in 2030, for which it has mobilized 130 million euros in sustainability actions. The following actions will consist of installation of two other plants in the Valencia Terminal Europa silo and in the Príncipe Felipe dock in the Port of Valencia, in order to produce 14% of the total energy demanded.

The ports seek to become energy communities to save a good part of the electricity bill by installing panels

This port will also have two new electrical substations which, with a power of 90 MW each, will supply the auxiliary engines of the ships that are moored in the port area, preventing them from using diesel in order to reduce CO2 emissions.

Energy saving is thus positioned as the main short-term challenge for port authorities. Similarly, that of Santander In May, it launched a study to install solar panels on its roofs and establish itself as an energy community, in order to save 50% of its electricity bill.

Projects also offshore

The aforementioned bunkering It is another of the lines of work of the sector that this week has received an important boost from the Government. Scale Gas, a subsidiary of the Spanish gas manager Enagás, has received 15 million euros of public funding to build a ship to supply LNG and BioLNG on the high seas in the Canary Islands.

This new ship, which will begin construction in June 2022 and be ready in 2025, will have a capacity of 12,500 cubic meters to carry out bunkering of alternative fuels on the high seas and may be adapted in the future to supply ammonia, with a view to a future transition to hydrogen, on which a large part of the sector is already setting its sights.

Source: lainformacion.com

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