Port of Aberdeen: Sailing Towards Sustainability


Roddy James, Chief Commercial Officer

Around 7,000 vessels utilise Port of Aberdeen’s world-class infrastructure every year and as the drive to net zero gathers pace, we are taking significant and sustained action to reduce our impact on the environment.

In April 2023, we launched our industry-leading strategy to become the UK’s first net zero port by 2040, with up to £55 million of investment over the next decade. Reducing emissions in port is a key strand of the strategy.

Vessel emissions have historically been hard to abate and approximately 78% of CO2 emissions in the port are generated from vessels at berth. As a major step to tackle this issue, our multimillion pound ‘Shore Power in Operation’ initiative, backed by industry and UK Government funding, will develop Scotland’s first large scale landside and vessel side shore power system.

Scheduled for completion by March 2025, the project will introduce shore power facilities at seven berths on Albert and Mearns Quays at North Harbour. The demonstrator project will cut vessel emissions at the berths by more than 80% compared with burning marine fuel and save in excess of 60,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent over the next 20 years.

Another significant emissions reduction project will see the installation of shore power facilities at Port of Aberdeen for Serco NorthLink’s passenger ferries. This initiative, funded by Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL) through a substantial seven-figure sum investment, will mitigate more than 1,300 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year, improve air quality, and reduce noise.

These two projects alone will deliver a tangible reduction in emissions in the coming years and pave the way for the wider roll-out of shore power across the port. We are also working closely with stakeholders to understand potential infrastructure requirements to deliver future low and zero carbon fuels.

Ports have an important role to play in decarbonising Scotland’s transport emissions and we are proud to be leading the charge.


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