Peel Ports, NatPower Marine plan Ireland-UK green shipping corridors

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Peel Ports, NatPower Marine plan Ireland-UK green shipping corridor

NatPower Marine and Peel Ports Group have announced plans to establish the first green shipping corridors between Ireland and the UK.

This initiative involves NatPower Marine developing the UK’s first commercial electric ship (e-ship) charging network to support electric propulsion and cold ironing, a process that enables ships to access clean power while docked, reducing engine pollution at ports.

This network is part of a global project requiring an estimated £100 million ($127 million) investment from NatPower Marine.

The proposed charging infrastructure will be implemented across all eight UK and Irish ports operated by Peel Ports Group. Additionally, the plan includes installing chargers for electric cars, vans, and HGVs at these ports.

“NatPower Marine is investing to deploy the largest global network of charging points to address the ‘chicken and egg conundrum’ facing this industry: shipping lines cannot electrify their vessels if port charging infrastructure is not available, and ports cannot raise capital for infrastructure without demand from shipping lines,” said Stefano Sommadossi, CEO of NatPower Marine.

READ: What is a Green Port?

Annually, over 3,000 vessels cross the Irish Sea, emitting 230,000 tonnes of CO2, 20,000 tonnes of nitrous oxide (NOx), and 18,000 tonnes of sulphur oxide (SOx). According to both parties, providing these ships with onshore electric charging could significantly reduce these emissions, supporting climate goals and enhancing local air quality.

The first identified routes for the green shipping corridors are Belfast-Heysham and Dublin-Birkenhead. This initiative aligns with Peel Ports Group’s ambition for Heysham Port in Lancashire to become the UK’s first net-zero port. The port has already reduced emissions from its landside operations by up to 90 per cent.

This project is the initial phase of a £3 billion ($3.8 billion) global charging network planned by NatPower Marine for 120 ports worldwide by 2030. NatPower Marine will develop and operate these sites in partnership with port operators.

Earlier in March, the Port Authority of Bilbao and Portsmouth International Port signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to help expand freight and passenger travel between the ports.

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