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Tuesday, September 29, 2020 

While recognising that in terms of emissions per tonne-kilometre shipping provides easily the most environmentally-friendly means of long-distance transport of heavy goods, Cavotec points out that as ships use some of the dirtiest fuels available, there are significant improvements to be made in terms of greenhouse gases.

Nicklas Vedin, Product Manager for Cavotec’s vacuum mooring technology, MoorMaster, said: "While many companies are introducing long-term zero emission horizons – with 2050 being a common target date – there’s also a strong desire to achieve gains in the short term. Every day, maritime companies across the world are finding ways to quickly reduce their environmental footprint by investing in proven sustainable technologies such as shore power, and vacuum mooring. Just last year several Baltic ports procured MoorMaster systems primarily to save time when berthing a ship thereby enabling them to cruise slower between port calls which saves fuel and reduces the environmental impact. In addition, the port itself achieves productivity improvements and improved work place safety as slow and dangerous manual work is replaced by automation. An example of what we at Cavotec call Profitable Sustainability.”

Although no clear winner has emerged in the race to provide a cleaner fuel alternative for ocean-going vessels, significant progress is being made with smaller vessels serving shorter routes.

“This is where we’ve seen progress running ahead of the industry,” said Vedin. "For example, in Norway, as part of its pledge to get the country carbon neutral by 2030, the government is backing the introduction of electrically powered ferries on the large number of short passenger and vehicle crossings there.”

Cavotec is currently delivering 20 fully automatic charging systems that connect ferries to electrical power at the quay to charge batteries, and some 50 MoorMaster vacuum mooring systems to reduce total energy consumption.

“The industry is clearly charting a path towards zero emissions, and it already has various tools at its disposal to achieve that. Considerable progress has been made – but there’s still a lot to be done,” said Vedin.

Some of the zero-emissions projects are industry-generated; Cavotec cites the Getting to Zero coalition and the Maersk-led Transform to Net Zero, while legislation is driving other moves towards zero-emission shipping. For instance, the California Air Resources Board recently added car carriers and tankers to its list of vessels required to connect to shore power. And the EU has announced its intention to add shipping emissions to its carbon emissions trading scheme.

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