Worldwide there are approximately 3,000 merchant ports and the work of the Harbour Master can vary widely from country to country and from port to port even within the same country.
Large quantities of green hydrogen, sustainable electricity and the replacement or construction of a substantial number of pipelines in North Sea Port are the main recommendations of the CUST (Clean Underground Sustainable Transport) project.
A study has been carried out in the cross-border port area of North Sea Port into the possible rollout of a large-scale pipeline infrastructure for transporting CO2, hydrogen, synthetic naphtha and heat. These pipelines will be important for reducing annual CO2 emissions in the port area by almost 22 million tonnes over the next 5 to 30 years, and for making the transition to climate-neutral industry by 2050, in line with the objectives of the Paris climate agreement. The study sets out a number of recommendations to achieve this.
In order to reduce emissions of CO2, it is necessary for companies to capture and use the gas as a raw material (Carbon Capture and Utilisation (CCU)). Getting the CO2 to its destination will require the construction of pipeline infrastructure. CCU is not immediately feasible in all the various scenarios: as a transitional measure, the capture and storage of CO2 will be required (Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS)). The study, reported by North Sea Port on 2 October, is very clear about this.
Limiting the capture of and storage of CO2 (CCS) to several million tonnes will require significant investment in the production of green hydrogen using electricity – up to 200 kilotons by 2030 and an exponential growth thereafter. This green hydrogen will be used to replace current hydrogen consumption (derived from fossil fuels) and for innovative new production processes. An important example of this is the Steel2Chemicals project, in which residual gases from the ArcelorMittal steel plant are used as feedstock by the chemical company Dow Chemical.
More electricity demand
In order to produce this green hydrogen, large quantities of renewable electricity will also be needed. The same goes for the replacement of natural gas by electricity for generating heat. The required increase is equivalent to the offshore production of 2.7 GW by 2030. Compared to the current electricity demand from the industry in North Sea Port, that means at least a quadrupling by 2030, with further growth thereafter. The electricity grid will need to be upgraded, particularly in the Ghent-Terneuzen Canal Zone. Connection of Dutch offshore wind farms with the port area is important in order to ensure that sufficient renewable electricity is available. In order to meet the increased demand for hydrogen, hydrogen will also have to be imported in the long term.
Pipeline infrastructure within and outside the port area
There are already many pipelines in the port area. While some of them can be reused, in many cases new ones will need to be laid. However, many of the existing routes can be used, it is understood. Cost of the network required for transporting CO2 and hydrogen within North Sea Port is estimated at €110 million.
It is reported that this network must also include connections beyond the port area, initially for CO2 transport. Cost of this is estimated at €95 to €130 million. Actual cost will depend on the timing and cooperation with the partner ports of Antwerp and Rotterdam.
Smart Delta Resources
In order to achieve a cross-border pipeline network, cooperation will be necessary – on the one hand between public authorities on either side of the border to facilitate the routes in planning and legal terms. On the other hand, a consortium needs to be formed between industry, network operators, governments and North Sea Port. The Smart Delta Resources platform will play a key role here.
Conducting research together
The study on pipeline infrastructure – the Clean Underground Sustainable Transport project (CUST) – is a joint initiative by:
Our picture shows a Carnival line up. Five Carnival ships are due in Durban in week commencing 24 May. (Photo: www.africaports.co.za )
No less than five Carnival Cruise ships are due to arrive in Durban between 26 and 28 May to take on bunkers and to restock depleted supplies.
These five ships are part of a group of 12 engaged in the humanitarian task of repatriating over 26,000 crew from the Carnival fleet and other companies, as well as personnel from entertainment centres ashore, who because of the coronavirus pandemic, have had their employment suddenly curtailed.
Hotel staff and entertainers
These are the entertainment staff, the onboard shop workers, beauty salon practitioners, waiters and bus boys, chefs and kitchen staff, cabin cleaners, pursers and front desk people all making up the staff working on board cruise ships.
With cruising curtailed these former employees are finally returning home to destinations like India, Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines after having remained on board their ships for more than two months, unable to go ashore or receive visitors ever since cruising operations were suspended in mid -March. Ahead they face another three or four weeks at sea before being allowed to disembark. However, there’s something of a problem.
Call to governments
IFSMA* calls upon Governments to adopt the ‘Framework of protocols for ensuring safe ship crew changes and travel during the COVID-19 pandemic’ without delay to allow ship owners and management companies to change over their dangerously tired crews.
Governments must act now in order to avoid personal injury to, and mental breakdown of, seafarers and avoid the significant risk of accidents and consequential danger to life and the environment.
Concern at IFSMA
IFSMA is receiving an increasing number of reports from its ship masters’ associations around the world concerned for the welfare and safety of crews and the increased risk with which they are operating in an already high risk environment. Seafarers are feeling let down and abandoned by their Governments.
Following concerns from the maritime industry, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) issued a circular to all Member States, the UN and agencies and IGOs and NGOs in consultative status with IMO. This document concerned recommendations to Member States about measures to facilitate ship crew changes in seaports during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The IMO Secretary General has received a framework of protocols for ensuring safe ship crew changes and travel during the pandemic, proposed by a cross-section of global industry associations in consultative status with the IMO, for example: ICS, IAPH, BIMCO, IFSMA, and P&I Clubs as well as the International Air Transport Association (IATA).