Green Shipping Corridors Planned Between UK and Ireland

May 22, 2024

Stefano Sommadossi (Source:
 NatPower Marine)
Stefano Sommadossi (Source: NatPower Marine)

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

The proposed project would see NatPower Marine develop the UK’s first commercial electric ship (e-ship) charging network to support electric propulsion and shoreside power as part of a global network.

The network – which would require an estimated £100m investment from NatPower Marine – would see this dedicated e-ship charging infrastructure delivered across all eight UK and Irish ports operated by Peel Ports Group. The master plan would also include electric car, van and HGV chargers installed for commercial electric vehicles passing through the ports.

Over 3,000 vessels cross the Irish Sea every year, emitting 230,000 tonnes of CO2, 20,000 tonnes of NOx and 18,000 of SOx. Connecting these to onshore electric charging when in port could dramatically reduce these emissions, supporting climate goals and improving local air quality.

The first Irish Sea routes identified in the proposals include Belfast-Heysham and Dublin-Birkenhead. This would support Peel Port Group’s ambitions for Heysham Port in Lancashire to become the UK’s first ‘net zero port’. The port has already slashed the emissions of its landside plant, equipment and vehicles by up to 90%.

The plans mark the first step in a new £3 billion global charging network, planned by NatPower Marine for 120 port locations worldwide by 2030. NatPower Marine will develop the sites, in partnership with port operators, and act as the long-term operator of the global charging network.

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

Claudio Veritiero, CEO at Peel Ports Group, said: “The proposals presented as part of this partnership are potentially game-changing, and fully support our ambitions to become a net-zero port operator by 2040.”

NatPower is also developing over 15GW of clean energy GigaParks projects in the UK, with 60GWh of battery storage capacity, crucial for balancing intermitted demand like electric ship requirements.

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