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Net Zero Port

Port of Aberdeen’s vision is to become Scotland’s premier net zero port, offering world class facilities and services, at the heart of the nation’s energy transition.

Net Zero by 2040

Port of Aberdeen has set the ambitious target to be the first UK port to achieve net zero by 2040.

Over the next decade, we will invest £55million to become a leading exemplar in environmental stewardship and sustainability, pioneering green port innovation and facilitating energy transition solutions.

Our net zero strategy has three work streams - reducing emissions, facilitating future fuels, and supporting the energy transition. These guide all projects, investment, and decision-making. 

“I very much welcome Port of Aberdeen’s Net Zero strategy and congratulate them on making this important investment in their future. I wish the port every success as they aim for their ambitious target of reaching net zero by 2040.”

Màiri McAllan
Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Net Zero and Just Transition

Scoping Our Emissions

As part of our net zero strategy, we baselined our emissions using 2019 data, which covers three scopes: 

  1. Direct Emissions such as company owned vessels and fuel used in equipment, machinery, and company cars (scope 1).
  2. Indirect Emissions from the generation of purchased energy including electricity, heat, steam, and cooling (scope 2).
  3. Other Indirect Emissions occurring upstream and downstream of the port’s supply chain such as client vessels, leased assets, water, and waste (scope 3).

Of the 55,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent emitted in 2019, over 97% came from the 9,500 vessels that utilised the port (scope 3). We will re-baseline and report emissions once Aberdeen South Harbour has been fully operational for 12 months.    

To slash emissions, we will introduce clean shore power, starting with three berths in 2024, and facilitate low carbon alternative fuels for client vessels. This will require a phased approach and strong partnerships and investment from the public and private sectors. 

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Our Route to Net Zero

Progress to Date

We have already taken sustained action to reduce our impact on the environment by:

  • Changing our company vehicles to electric, saving thousands of litres of diesel each year.
  • Installing LED lighting on the quayside, delivering a 54% reduction in kWh.
  • Completed a UK Government funded feasibility study into introducing shore power at North Harbour, which paved the way for two ongoing projects.
  • Delivering a UK Government funded ‘Port Zero’ feasibility study focused on decarbonising day-to-day operations at South Harbour.
  • Secured Scottish Government funding to explore the feasibility of storing hydrogen subsea at South Harbour.
  • Collaborating with industry partners, such as bp, Subsea 7 and Stillstrom, on innovative maritime decarbonisation projects.

Immediate Priorities for Net Zero

Over the next 12 months (2023-4), we will focus on: 

  • Completing feasibility testing and implementation of hydrotreated vegetable oil for port handling equipment, machinery, and vessels.
  • Procuring a renewable electricity tariff, with initial feasibility and cost-analysis exercises planned for the implementation of onsite clean energy.
  • Implementing shore power at three berths, with suitability analysis planned for the phased approach to installing across remaining berths.
  • Accelerating the switch to electric company cars and reviewing the suitability and timeframe for transferring plant and machinery to low carbon alternatives.
  • Engaging with stakeholders such as vessel owners, employees, and tenants to collaboratively make steps in carbon mitigation.

Future Port Emissions Reduction

Medium to long-term emissions reductions may be driven by: 

  • Electrification of all port owned and controlled vessels, cars, equipment, and machinery.
  • Implementation of onsite clean energy or a clean energy purchase power agreement to service port-controlled buildings, tenant occupied facilities and shore power.
  • Phased rollout of shore power to remaining berths.
  • Facilitating low carbon fuel alternatives for client vessels.
  • Reviewing innovations, technological advancements and promote stakeholder engagement to identify carbon emission reduction opportunities.

Maritime Decarbonisation

Port of Aberdeen has firmly established itself as leading hub for collaboration and innovation on maritime decarbonisation. The projects and learnings from the port will help accelerate work in this area across the UK.

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