The Net Zero Ports And Harbours Summit was held on March 14-15, 2024 in Barcelona, Spain. Furthermore, leaders in the field, decision-makers, and specialists came together for two days. They exchanged ideas, tactics, and state-of-the-art approaches. The goal was to decarbonize international ports and harbours. As essential entry points for international trade, ports and harbours are essential for facilitating the shift to environmentally friendly shipping and cutting greenhouse gas emissions. So, the summit provided participants with the skills and information needed to successfully negotiate sustainability challenges in ports and harbours. Let us go in-depth about the Net Zero Ports And Harbours Summit ahead.

Net Zero Ports And Harbours Summit: Session Highlights – Insights from Industry Pioneers

During the informative sessions at the Net Zero Ports And Harbours Summit, experts and leaders in the sector discussed many facets of the marine energy transition and offered their insights. So, the following are the main points of these sessions:

Ana Arévalo, Head of Shorepower Department, Port of Barcelona

The technical developments influencing the construction of port and terminal infrastructure for the energy transition were the focus of Ana Arévalo’s presentation. Furthermore, she underlined the significance of utilizing creative solutions in the Net Zero Ports And Harbours Summit. This is to future-proof port infrastructure. It also guarantees the smooth incorporation of sustainable practices

Eleni Bougioukou, Innovation Manager for Energy and Sustainability, Port of Tyne

Eleni Bougioukou’s talk was centered on the creation of green shipping corridors throughout the world. It is a crucial project for cutting emissions from ships. Furthermore, she emphasized the benefits that ports and harbours stand to gain from this project. She also emphasized the need for tight collaboration between all parties involved. Additionally, among the important subjects covered were overcoming obstacles, anticipating future developments in renewable energy, and managing laws.

Erik Bertholet, Business Manager Logistics and Offshore Wind, Groningen Seaports/Eemshaven

Erik Bertholet’s session provided an in-depth look at the impact of the energy transition on port and harbor infrastructure and facilities. He explored the future direction of renewable fuels and energy in the marine sector. There was an emphasis on the need for strategic planning. There was also stress on future-proofing facilities and addressing safety and security considerations throughout the transition process.

Maja Bendtsen, Chief Business Officer – Bulk, Port of Roenne

Maja Bendtsen’s insightful session centered on establishing successful partnerships for the provision of green energy and fuel to ship and boat operators. She delved into assessing future renewable fuel and energy trends. The speaker determined the criteria for selecting suitable partners. It was also for fostering effective collaboration and identifying optimal locations for alternative fuel storage.

Christian Manrique Valdor, Head of Infrastructure and Property Area, Port of Santander

Christian Manrique Valdor’s session focused on developing a first-rate electricity charging infrastructure across port and harbor facilities. He addressed critical aspects in the Net Zero Ports And Harbours Summit such as:

  • ensuring sufficient power availability, 
  • standardization, 
  • fast-charging points, 
  • stakeholder cooperation, 
  • remote site implementation, 
  • financial considerations, 
  • interoperability, 
  • and overcoming challenges related to megawatt charging station installation and battery storage integration.
Minas Papadakis, CEO, Heraklion Port Authority

Minas Papadakis shared a holistic approach to the green transition. The speaker drew lessons from the Port of Heraklion’s experience. Moreover, he highlighted strategies for overcoming challenges associated with shore power installation. There were also strategies for successfully exploiting wave energy as a renewable source.

Maarten Boot, Policy Advisor, FEPORT

Maarten Boot’s session centered on the European Union’s “Fit for 55” initiative and its implications for ports and harbors. So, he examined the difficulties and possibilities raised by this comprehensive strategy. Furthermore, he offered insightful guidance to interested parties navigating the changing regulatory environment in the Net Zero Ports And Harbours Summit.

Anaëlle Boudry, Senior Policy Advisor for Sustainable Development, Energy and Blue Growth, EcoPorts Coordinator, European Sea Ports Organisation

Anaëlle Boudry’s thought-provoking presentation addressed the main challenges faced in developing and operating first-rate ports and harbors for the maritime energy transition. Her expertise offered attendees a comprehensive understanding of the obstacles and potential solutions in this transformative journey.

Andreas Slotte, Head of Sustainable Development, Port of Helsinki

Andreas Slotte’s session focused on developing a comprehensive alternative marine power and charging infrastructure. He covered crucial aspects such as:

  • securing capabilities for various vessel types, 
  • maximizing grid capacity, 
  • the role of power purchase agreements (PPAs) in shore power systems,
  • standardization, 
  • ensuring cooperation in infrastructure development and management, 
  • customer education, and cost considerations.
Jon Olav Stedje, Manager Port Operations -Port of Flam, Environmental Port Index (EPI) – Ambassador, and Member of the Sustainable Committee – Cruise Europe

Jon Olav Stedje shared his port’s journey toward becoming an essential part of society through sustainable practices. Moreover, his insights provided attendees with a real-world example of how ports can transform and contribute to a greener future.

Manuel Melo, Innovation Manager, Hub Azul Project, Fórum Oceano – Portugal Blue Economy Cluster

Manuel Melo’s session highlighted the critical role of ports and harbors. This is in developing the provision of green energy to ship and boat operators. Moreover, he explored assessing future renewable energy trends and selecting suitable partners. Furthermore, he assessed fostering stakeholder cooperation and overcoming collaboration challenges in developing green energy infrastructure.

Jordi Anglès Jové, Commercial Coordinator, Port Tarragona

Jordi Anglès Jové presented new port strategies for the energy transition era. He shared insights into:

  • the Port of Tarragona’s liquid bulk traffic operations, 
  • commercial opportunities arising from the transition, 
  • the importance of collaboration between organizations, 
  • and the path towards achieving net-zero emissions through decarbonizing port activities.
Ulrik Alexander Tønnesen, Policy Advisor, Environment & Maritime Safety, European Community Shipowners’ Association (ECSA)

Ulrik Alexander Tønnesen provided an in-depth analysis of the European Union’s “Fit for 55” initiative and its impact on shipping and vessel greening. Furthermore, his expertise offered valuable perspectives. This is on navigating regulatory changes and also their implications for the maritime industry.

Jan Egbertsen, Innovation Manager, Port of Amsterdam

Jan Egbertsen shared the Port of Amsterdam’s clean shipping strategy. It served as a case study for major modern ports. Moreover, he discussed shore power developments, clean fuel initiatives, and bunkering facility expansions. He also discussed the port’s hydrogen strategy and innovative projects like the Neo Orbis ship. It will sail on batteries and sodium borohydride as a hydrogen carrier.

Closing Panel Discussion

The Net Zero Ports And Harbours Summit concluded with a thought-provoking panel discussion. It brought together Jan Egbertsen (Innovation Manager, Port of Amsterdam), Jordi Anglès Jové (Commercial Coordinator, Port Tarragona), and Manuel Melo (Innovation Manager, Hub Azul Project, Fórum Oceano – Portugal Blue Economy Cluster). Furthermore, the panel explored the most significant practical challenges faced by ports and harbors. This is in adapting to the maritime energy transition and strategies to overcome these hurdles.

The Significance of Sustainability Events

Conferences like the Net Zero Ports And Harbours Summit play a pivotal role in accelerating the global transition towards a sustainable maritime industry. Moreover, these gatherings of important stakeholders promote priceless knowledge sharing. It also promotes teamwork and the exchange of best practices. Moreover, attendees have access to cutting-edge knowledge and new trends. They also have creative ideas that may influence the operations and plans of their companies.

Embracing the Future, One Summit at a Time

The marine sector is steadfastly committed to adopting sustainable practices and laying the groundwork. This is for a more environmentally friendly future, as evidenced by the Net Zero Ports and Harbours Summit. Amidst the ongoing global struggles brought on by climate change, occasions such as these spur creativity, cooperation, and concrete measures.

Industry participants may remain up to date on the newest advancements, acquire insightful knowledge, and build relationships that can lead to significant change by attending such summits. Additionally, these events provide priceless chances for anybody involved in the worldwide marine energy transition. So, it can be port authorities, shipping companies, legislators, technology providers, etc.

It is essential to be involved and dedicated to going to upcoming sustainability events as the industry changes. So, make the decision to attend the next summit so you can participate in the discussion, work with like-minded people, and also help shape the marine industry’s sustainable future.

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