Apr 8, 2024 | Marine environment & clean shipping news

X-Press Feeders has signed of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with six European ports: Port of Antwerp Bruges (Belgium), Port of Tallinn (Estonia), Port of Helsinki (Finland), Port of HaminaKotka (Finland), Freeport of Riga (Latvia) and Klaipeda Port (Lithuania).

The agreement signifies a joint commitment to accelerate the establishment of green shipping corridors and the broader decarbonisation of the marine sector in Scandinavia and the Baltic Sea. Through this MoU, X-Press Feeders and the participating ports aim to pool resources and expertise to develop and implement sustainable practices for maritime operations.

Under the MoU the parties will:

  • Work together to further develop infrastructure for the provision and bunkering of alternative fuels such as green methanol,
  • Encourage the development of supply chains for fuel that are zero or near to zero in terms of GHG emissions,
  • Provide further training programmes for port workers and seafarers with regards to the handling of alternative fuels,
  • Leverage digital platforms to enhance port call optimisation, and
  • Hold regular meetings to update and discuss progress on actions for further developing green shipping corridors.

The MoU underscores the collective dedication to broader decarbonisation efforts within the maritime sector. The collaboration between the parties will begin with the establishment of two shipping routes:

  • Green Baltic X-Press (GBX): Rotterdam > Antwerp Bruges > Klaipeda > Riga > Rotterdam,
  • Green Finland X-Press (GFX): Rotterdam > Antwerp Bruges > Helsinki > Tallinn > HaminaKotka > Rotterdam.

These services are scheduled to commence in Q3 2024, marking a step towards more environmentally sustainable shipping services in Europe. These will be the first scheduled feeder routes in Europe powered by green methanol, an alternative fuel that produces at least 60% lower GHG emissions than conventional marine fuel.

X-Press Feeders’ green methanol is sourced from fuel supplier OCI Global. The green methanol is made from green hydrogen and the decomposition of organic matter, such as waste and residues. OCI’s green methanol is independently certified by the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC) Association headquartered in Germany. The ISCC system promotes and verifies the sustainable production of biomass, circular and bio-based materials and renewables.

X-Press Feeders COO Francis Goh, said: “By working together X-Press Feeders and the six partner ports aim to efficiently implement green shipping corridors and lead the maritime industry in sustainability. We chose the Nordic and Baltic states as the first markets to deploy our green methanol powered vessels because we found the ports and our customers in these markets to be very receptive. This MoU represents a significant milestone in our commitment to a sustainable future for the maritime industry. By collaborating with these leading European ports, we can collectively drive the adoption of green technologies that accelerate the decarbonization of our industry.”

Luc Arnouts, VP International Affairs, Port of Antwerp-Bruges, said: “The Port of Antwerp-Bruges is honoured to have signed this MoU with X-Press Feeders and fellow European ports, emphasising our joint dedication to sustainable maritime practices. This partnership signifies a crucial step forward in nurturing eco-friendly shipping corridors and encouraging the use of alternative fuels. It reinforces our steadfast commitment to environmental stewardship in the Baltic Sea and Scandinavian region, which plays a vital role for our port,” says

Margus Vihman, Commercial Manager, Port of Tallinn said: “Making the maritime sector more sustainable and reducing its environmental footprint, is a priority for all stakeholders in our industry. It is extremely welcoming that the first tangible steps – towards greater sustainability in our industry – addresses fuel consumption. Port of Tallinn was one of the fastest ports in Europe to digitalise, and soon we can say the same about the introduction of new types of fuels.”

Vesa Marttinen, VP Cargo, Port of Helsinki, added: “We are humble and proud to be a chosen destination for methanol driven container ship from summer 2024 onwards. This is a very important milestone for the Carbon-Neutral Port of Helsinki Manifestation. The only possible way to achieve significantly reduced cargo owners’ scope 3 emissions from maritime transportation, comes with shipping companies like X-Press Feeders taking the tangible steps.”

Timo Rosendahl, Director Traffic Operations, Port of HaminaKotka said: “Port of HaminaKotka Ltd is committed to promoting environmentally friendly practices in maritime transport by signing this Memorandum of Understanding aimed at accelerating the establishment of green shipping corridors in Europe. This initiative is a step towards a more sustainable future and more environmentally responsible shipping. We strongly believe that joint actions play a key role in our efforts to reduce the environmental impact of shipping.”

Edgars Suna, Freeport of Riga Authority Deputy CEO for Port Development Matters said: “The Port of Riga is delighted to join the European ports in promoting green shipping and establishing green shipping corridors, focusing on climate neutrality and integration into green logistics corridors. This commitment is crucial for the port’s sustainability and competitiveness, as it aligns with the European Green Deal and meets client demands for greener transport solutions. The availability of green energy not only makes the port more efficient and safer but also significantly boosts its appeal for freight and investment projects.”

Vladas Motiejūnas, Harbourmaster, Port of Klaipėda, who signed the MoU remotely, concluded: “In recent years, Klaipeda Port has taken significant strides towards sustainability. This year marks the commencement of construction for green hydrogen production and refueling stations at the port, along with the implementation of shore-side power supply (OPS) stations for roll-on/roll-off ferries. Furthermore, Klaipeda Port proudly enters 2024 with the Port Environmental Review System (PERS) certification, underscoring our commitment to environmental stewardship. Already, methanol bunkering operations are available at Klaipeda Port. The integration of Klaipeda Port into environmentally sustainable shipping services by X-Press Feeders is a testament to our unwavering dedication to fostering a greener port.”

Image: (left to right) Port of Tallinn, Margus Vihman; Port of Riga, Edgars Suna; Port of Antwerp Bruges, Luc Arnouts; X-Press Feeders, Sergio Spinosa; Port of Helsinki, Vesa Marttinen; Klaipeda Port (source: XPress Feeders)

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