24 NOV 2021

A new alliance for the decarbonisation and electrification of the shipping sector

  • Net-Zero MAR will enable the Spanish maritime industry to set an example to the world, reducing emissions from ports and using alternative fuels to decarbonise shipping

The Port of Valencia hosted the launch of the Net-Zero MAR Alliance, a non-profit collaborative initiative to promote decarbonisation and electrification throughout the Spanish maritime sector. The project is open to all actors, companies and institutions wanting to join forces to reduce polluting emissions from port infrastructures and ships.

Net-Zero MAR.

The event was attended by the president of Puertos del Estado, Francisco Toledo; the minister of Territorial Policy, Public Works and Mobility, Arcadi España; the CEO of Iberdrola España, Ángeles Santamaría and the president of the Port Authority of Valencia, Aurelio Martínez, along with representatives from the other organisations involved in the initiative.

During her speech, Ángeles Santamaría said that this alliance "has arrived at the ideal time to take advantage of a new framework that introduces programmes such as Fit for 55, in the context of the European Green Deal, the European Climate Law and the European Climate Change and Energy Transition Law, where measures for recovery are focusing on the green economy as a crucial vector for industrial development and job creation".

The CEO of Iberdrola España explained that the initiative "is intended to be the benchmark collaboration for the decarbonisation of the sector and that it has been designed to make room for the largest number of organisations and that it is and will be open to any actor in the value chain aligned with the ambitious objectives of the Alliance".

Arcadi España highlighted the fact that the project is based on "the will of companies, driven by Iberdrola in collaboration with universities and technology centres and supported by government, to move forward with this type of public-private collaboration". Francisco Toledo congratulated the company for taking the initiative to form this alliance, which is "necessary and fitting, and ratifies its hallmark green commitment", while Aurelio Martínez said that the zero-emissions project "is absolutely strategic for the Port of Valencia".

Net-Zero MAR is born

The Net-Zero MAR Alliace, driven by Iberdrola in collaboration with more than 20 companies and bodies, with support from Puertos del Estado, has been launched to position the Spanish maritime industry as a leader in the electrification of ports and in the decarbonisation of sea transport, to establish a common roadmap, making it a pioneer in Europe to achieve that objective.

To this end, this initiative will facilitate the development of industrial decarbonisation initiatives, foster a climate of innovation and digitalisation throughout the sector, promote regulation to enable the adoption of new technologies and alternative fuels, make itself available to the public administration for the adoption of measures aimed at achieving national, European and global decarbonisation and electrification objectives and to replicate success stories in Spain throughout Europe.

International shipping, which handles 80-90% of world trade, is responsible for about 3% of global greenhouse gas emissions. To lower these emissions, the International Maritime Organization has set an ambitious target of slashing these by at least 50% by 2050, which will require reducing emissions from all port-related activities and the use of low or emission-free alternative fuels in shipping.

Achieving this goal and enabling the transition to the full decarbonisation of the sector will require close collaboration and deliberate and collective action by actors throughout the value chain, including the shipping industry, the energy sector, the financial sector and governments, as well as intergovernmental organisations.

First members of the Alliance

The Net-Zero MAR Alliance will be a landmark in the decarbonisation of the sector and has been designed to make room for the greatest number of organisations and is open to any which are aligned to its objectives.

The organisations that have joined the alliance so far and which are helping to promote it include: Baleària, Bound4Blue, Fundación Valenciaport, Grupo Gimeno, Grupo Junquera, Iberdrola, Ingeteam, Instituto Tecnológico de la Energía (ITE), MAN Energy Solutions España, MSC Terminal (Mediterranenan Shipping Cruises), Navantia, Ormazabal (Velatia), PortCastelló, Puerto de Alicante, Puerto Banús, PYMAR, Seaplace, Roca Castellón Consignaciones, Tecnalia, Tubacex, Universitat Politècnica de València and Autoridad Portuaria de València (Valenciaport). Other companies and organisations wanting to promote the Spanish shipping industry a driving force for port electrification and the decarbonisation of shipping are welcome to join.

Just as electrical mobility started appearing in cities with hybrid and electric vehicles years ago, the decarbonisation of the shipping industry is starting, with the electrification of port infrastructure and the use of alternative fuels to decarbonise shipping. This change will be necessary in the coming years to reduce the carbon footprint of ships and ports that use fossil fuels.