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Valenciaport joins the international declaration in support of maritime trade to combat the Covid-19 pandemic

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Valenciaport joins the international declaration in support of maritime trade to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. Image: Port Authority of Valencia
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The Port Authority of Valencia has adhered to the International Declaration promoted by the Port Authorities Roundtable (PAR) to highlight the role of the port and maritime sector in maintaining commercial activity and the global supply of goods during the health emergency resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Port Authorities Roundtable is made up of the main port authorities in Asia, the Middle East, America and Europe, including the Port Authority of Valencia. This declaration has the support of 57 ports around the world and different international organizations. In the text, the signatory entities commit themselves to work together to:

– Encourage merchant ships to continue docking at port terminals to carry out loading operations and ensure the global supply chain.

– Facilitate closer coordination and communication channel between Port Authorities to share experiences and exchange information in the fight against Covid-19 while maintaining unhindered maritime trade. 

– Adopt best practices to combat Covid-19 according to each country’s circumstances, including precautionary measures for the shipping community, assistance for shore staff and ship’s crew, safe handling of cargoes and measures taken to deal with cases of Covid-19.

Finally, members of the RAP are grateful through this statement for our deepest appreciation to the entire port community that is working tirelessly during the pandemic to facilitate the continuation of international trade in these difficult times. 

The manifesto signed by the port authorities is in line with the statement made by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) on the importance of minimizing disruption to maritime trade and shipping activities so that vital goods, especially essential medical supplies, can continue to flow seamlessly across different regions in the world.

Environment

UK maritime technology firm paves the way for greener oceans with ‘micro-bubble carpet’

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UK maritime technology firm paves the way for greener oceans with ‘micro-bubble carpet’. Image: Silverstream Technologies
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London-based Silverstream Technologies has developed a pioneering air-bubble system that reduces fuel consumption by 5-12%.

A “carpet of micro-bubbles”, developed by UK firm Silverstream Technologies, improves fuel efficiency in the shipping industry and has landed the business a £1 million deal with US shipping giant, Carnival Cruises.

The Silverstream® System, a type of Air Lubrication System, pumps tiny bubbles through vents on the hull to reduce friction between the vessel and the water, helping it glide through the ocean. The technology has been independently proven to reduce fuel consumption by 5-12%, which in turn cuts running costs.

The Department for International Trade has been providing support and opening networks, enabling the company to experience significant international growth. This has led to deals being made with leading names in the maritime industry, including Carnival Cruises, Grimaldi Group and Lloyd’s Register.

Silverstream Technologies Founder & CEO, Noah Silberschmidt, said:

Shipping is one of the ‘hard to decarbonise’ global industries so we have spent the last few years independently testing our system to support our claims. We want to become a standard on newbuild vessels in the industry and to be the ‘new normal’ for sustainable shipping.

By working with the best partners to help shipping improve its efficiency standards, Silverstream wants to have a positive and progressive impact on the industry and in doing so, the wider world.

Our trade advisor from the Department for International Trade has been instrumental in our recent success with this deal, as they know precisely the type of information that a business needs to tap into these key markets and reach these big companies.

The business has been operating at full capacity in line with Government guidelines throughout the Coronavirus pandemic and is finalising deals to supply an additional 15 ships in Europe and Asia by the end of the year. Supported throughout by DIT, this is expected to double Silverstream’s overall turnover with the increased number of installations consequently reducing tonnes of fuel burn and carbon emissions every year.

Minister for Exports, Graham Stuart, said:

Silverstream Technologies is a perfect example of how maritime businesses can reduce carbon emissions through technological innovation.

The UK is a global leader in green transport solutions and the perfect place for companies like Silverstream to go global and contribute to our net zero 2050 ambition.

With the shipping industry facing a target to become carbon neutral by 2050, the maritime sector represents one of the UK’s most important industries, facilitating 95% of all UK trade and more than one million jobs, according to Maritime UK.

Chair of Maritime UK, Harry Theochari, added:

Silverstream Technologies shows that innovative solutions are being found to help the maritime sector reach its net zero carbon emissions challenge – and then be exported around the world.

With 90% of all global trade moving by ship, the market opportunity is vast. By developing cutting-edge green technologies, our businesses are delivering sustainable solutions and real economic and societal benefits.

The UK maritime sector has committed to Net Zero by 2050 and it is vital that green, balanced growth, is placed at the heart of our recovery from Coronavirus.

In 2019, more than half of UK exports to the US were in services, with the total trade services almost doubling in the last decade to £125.3 billion.

The UK is currently negotiating a Free Trade Agreement with the US, which Government analysis shows could increase transatlantic trade flows by £15.3 billion, with businesses across the entire country set to benefit.

 

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MSC collaborates with South Pole to expand its Carbon Neutral Programme

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MSC collaborates with South Pole to expand its Carbon Neutral Programme. Image: Pixabay
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MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company has partnered with leading global climate solutions provider South Pole, to develop the MSC Carbon Neutral Programme. After successful implementation in selected countries, MSC is now extending the programme to clients worldwide throughout 2020.

The programme complements MSC’s strategic approach to sustainability and massive investment in reducing emissions across its fleet. MSC recently completed the launch of the largest class of container ships which produce the lowest CO2 emissions per container carried by design – MSC’s Gülsün Class. Furthermore, MSC is actively exploring and trialling a range of alternative fuel and propulsion technologies to support the container shipping industry’s long-term goals to decarbonise.

On top of this, MSC was the first major shipping line in 2019 to offer an option to fully compensate the unavoidable carbon emissions caused by the transport of their cargo through supporting climate protection projects managed by South Pole.

The climate action projects developed by South Pole deliver measurable benefits aligned with the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. They improve lives, provide jobs, and preserve landscapes for communities around the world. As part of the Carbon Neutral Programme, MSC customers can compensate the emissions from the transportation of their cargo by financially contributing to two selected projects that reduce emissions. South Pole cancels the same amount of carbon credits generated by these projects, which are audited and third-party certified according to the most stringent international standards, the Verified Carbon Standard (Verra), the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standards and the Social Carbon*.

“In addition to running the biggest fleet investment programme in the industry, MSC has ensured that customers have an option to compensate CO2 emissions through the global MSC Carbon Neutral Programme. We have partnered with South Pole, a leading, certified third party to extend the MSC Carbon Neutral Programme and help bridge the gap between shipping today and the zero-carbon future we all aspire to,” says Claudio Bozzo, Chief Operating Officer, MSC.

“We congratulate MSC on this important effort to further green their fleet and for facilitating their customers to be more climate-friendly. Transformational change won’t happen overnight, but each step we take along a shared, ambitious climate journey is bringing us closer to where we need to be,” said Renat Heuberger, CEO of South Pole.

“MSC clients are given the opportunity to  contribute to projects that not only mitigate  global CO2 emissions, but also improve lives on the ground in communities in China and Zimbabwe – from the development of cleaner energy and to combating poverty, improving skills and ensuring food security,” said Natalia Gorina, Commercial Director at South Pole.

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Environment

SSAB Raahe’s steel plant is testing biogas from Gasum as a maritime transport fuel

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SSAB Raahe’s steel plant is testing biogas from Gasum as a maritime transport fuel. Image: Gasum Oy
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The test will be carried out in collaboration with ESL Shipping and Gasum. This is the first time that biogas will be used as fuel for ships in Finland.

SSAB, ESL Shipping and Gasum are working together to reduce the emissions arising in shipping SSAB’s raw materials. Last year, SSAB and ESL Shipping introduced a new transport chain that, in comparison with its predecessor, nearly halved the carbon dioxide emissions originating in shipping SSAB’s raw materials between Luleå, Oxelösund and Raahe.

The improved transport chain brought into use ESL Shipping’s new ships Viikki and Haaga which are fueled by liquefied natural gas rather than conventional fuels. Now these companies are piloting the use of liquefied biogas as a supplementary fuel to further replace fossil fuels.

In the test that kicked off yesterday, M/S Viikki was fueled with LNG and one tanker load of liquefied biogas which was brought to SSAB Raahe from the Gasum Terminal in Pori.

“With this test, we aim to find out whether biogas could be used in small amounts for maritime transport to reduce emissions. The methane in biogas originates from biogenic material and so does not contain any fossil coal.  This means the amount of biogas used in the test could further reduce the fossil  carbon dioxide emissions originating in this transport chain by between 25% and 28%,” says Harri Leppänen, Head of Environment, Health & Safety at SSAB.

Efforts toward removing fossil CO2 emissions from the transport chain would require replacing all LNG with LBG and replacing  the diesel fuel used to power  the ship’s engine with fossil-free biodiesel.

“Our company’s key environmental goal for 2020 is testing biogas in our ships. We have been engaged in long-term environmental work together with SSAB for years, and now we are taking a new significant step towards fossil-free sea transport, “says Mikki Koskinen, ESL Shipping’s Managing Director.

“The test with ESL and SSAB is in line with our strategy to bring cleaner fuels to our customers. We are all the time increasing our biogas production and sourcing to meet growing demand of our customers. We are already in discussions with ESL about running vessels Viikki and Haaga on 100% LBG,” says Jacob Granqvist, Sales Director maritime, Gasum.

SSAB wants to launch fossil-free steel on the market as the world’s first steel company as early as 2026. The entire company is aiming to be fossil free by 2045. To achieve these targets, SSAB together with LKAB and Vattenfall has launched the HYBRIT initiative to eliminate fossil carbon dioxide emissions across the entire steel manufacturing value chain from mines to finished steel products. “However, for operations to be entirely fossil free, it is also necessary to strive to eliminate fossil fuels from shipping,” Harri Leppänen continues.

More than 90% of carbon dioxide emissions at SSAB Raahe originate in ironmaking, where coal is used as a raw material in the reduction process. The HYBRIT initiative aims to replace coal with hydrogen, which means emissions will be water vapor instead of carbon dioxide.

Iron is made at SSAB Raahe using two blast furnaces, one of which will be decommissioned in about 2029, when half of the production will switch to electric arc furnace technology where hydrogen-reduced iron and recycled steel will be used as raw materials. This transition will cut the plant’s emissions by about 40%. The other blast furnace will also be replaced by an electric arc furnace by 2040, which will reduce the plant’s fossil carbon dioxide emissions to zero if shipping can be operated without fossil fuels.

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