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Transition towards clean shipping bunker fuels ‘big topic’ at 4th WPCAP meeting

26 Jan 2023

Working group members of the World Ports Climate Action Program (WPCAP) held its 4th meeting to spur the faster adoption of sustainability standards and measures in the wider shipping industry, said the Port of Rotterdam Authority on Wednesday (25 January).

The meeting focused on the work done to improve efficiency, aid the adoption of shore power, and accelerate the transition to clean shipping fuels.

Members also discussed the decarbonisation of cargo-handling equipment, noting in particular the potential of hydrogen fuel cells as a zero-emission technology as this can deliver high performance with relatively low additional requirements for infrastructure investments.

The transition towards the adoption of clean shipping bunker fuels was a big topic for all WPCAP members, and is expected to be the main focus of multiple initiatives in the coming years, including Green Corridor projects launched by several WPCAP members across the globe.

Barriers to wider adoption of clean fuels include uncertainties around fuel availability, concerns about infrastructure and the technical readiness at individual ports. To address this, WPCAP members group joined forces with the IAPH Clean Marine Fuels working group to develop an assessment and communications tool to align global conversations about the availability of clean fuels at ports.

“It is important for ports to be able to say to ship owners: ‘we will be ready with this fuel, at this time, and this is what you can expect from us’ – and this tool does just that,” said Namrata Nadkarni, chair of the working group on sustainable marine fuels and founder of maritime consultancy Intent Communications.

“The Port Readiness Framework allows you to communicate to all stakeholders where you are in the journey to supply new sustainable fuels or allow vessels using these fuels to bunker – from the research phase, to development and finally, deployment and bunkering of a new fuels.”

The working group is now focused on providing additional guidance and assessment sheets for ports to apply the framework to their efforts. Beyond this, an online tool can be development for voluntary self-assessment of port readiness. In the long run, the working group also sees potential for certification according to the new standards, although more thinking would be required on the exact implementation first.

WPCAP members commented that the new tool is a unique instrument and has the potential to significantly accelerate the transition to clean fuels, starting around specific Green Corridors.


Photo credit: Port of Rotterdam Authority
Published: 26 January, 2023

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