‘Port Zero’ and Green Shipping Corridor Studies Green Lit

Port of Aberdeen and Port of Tyne will host demonstrators aimed at accelerating the decarbonisation of the maritime sector

The international shipping sector accounts for almost 3 per cent of global emissions – if it were a country, it would be the world’s 8th largest emitter. In addressing the challenge of decarbonising the sector, Connected Places Catapult is part of two consortia  that have been awarded funding from the Clean Maritime Demonstrator Competition Round 2 (CMDC2), funded by the Department for Transport (DfT) and delivered in partnership with Innovate UK.  

News of the funding award comes as the UK Government continues to demonstrate its commitment to decarbonising the maritime sector, where During COP27 earlier this month, the Government jointly pledged with the US, Norway and the Netherlands to roll out end-to-end decarbonised shipping routes. Connected Places Catapult’s Ecosystem Director for Maritime and Ports, Tom White, commented that this new partnership will, “link complimentary international clusters, combining UK strengths and capabilities with those of other nations to create a more vibrant, collaborative marketplace for net zero shipping solutions and shared learning among stakeholders.” 

Clean Tyne Shipping Corridor – Port of Tyne 

The Clean Tyne Shipping Corridor project will develop a model green shipping corridor – a maritime route that is decarbonised from end to end – with the vision to join up the North East with European Green Corridor Network. Establishing green shipping corridors is critical to the adoption at scale of green fuels and technologies.   

The project is being led by the Port of Tyne together with consortium partners: Arup, Connected Places Catapult, EDF Energy R&D, Lloyd’s Register, Newcastle University and the North East LEP.  

Building on previous collaboration in the region, including through CMDC round 1, the consortium partners have brought together key stakeholders across the value chain to collaborate and work towards establishing at least one of six green corridors pledged in the Clydebank Declaration at COP26 by 2025.   

The consortium will establish the green shipping technology requirements for both vessel and landside infrastructure to create this new corridor. The partners will also produce the roadmap for implementation, tackling barriers such as the regulatory framework, information sharing, and infrastructure investment. 

‘Port Zero’ – Port of Aberdeen 

The ‘Port Zero’ feasibility study will analyse future port power demands, assess low carbon energy sources for equipment (e.g., cranes, tugs, pilot boats) and quayside infrastructure, developing a roadmap to decarbonise port operations. 

This study, which is being led by Port of Aberdeen in partnership with Buro Happold, Connected Places Catapult and Energy Systems Catapult will support achieving the emissions reductions goals published in the DfT’s Clean Maritime Plan. 

The project partners also aim to develop a ‘Ports and Regional Strategic Advisory Group’ to accelerate the journey to net zero, building on cross-sector challenges and opportunities for knowledge sharing in decarbonisation. This group will agree priorities, develop a solution roadmap that delivers optimum lifecycle emissions reductions and work to address policy gaps that impact the implementation of broader regional decarbonisation initiatives. 

Continuing the journey to green maritime 

In addition to the Catapult’s involvement with the CMDC2 projects, we are also supporting the sector through continued investment in our  Maritime Innovation Flagship programme. This programme, which is set to enter its second year, has already seen the launch of the Catapult’s first Maritime Accelerator to support industry access new solutions, working with SMEs developing high-potential technologies in the sector. The programme also features initiatives designed to increase collaboration and investment across the sector, including the Moving on the Mersey project, which is focussing on unlocking benefits from the increasing the efficient use of waterways as part of wider transport systems. 

For more information about the Catapult’s work on Maritime and Ports, visit the ecosystem page. 


About CMDC2 

The ‘Port Zero’ feasibility study and the Clean Tyne Shipping Corridor are part of the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition Round 2 (CMDC2) which was launched in May 2022, funded by the Department for Transport and delivered in partnership with Innovate UK. As part of the CMDC2, the Department allocated over £14m to 31 projects supported by 121 organisations from across the UK to deliver feasibility studies and collaborative R&D projects in clean maritime solutions. 

The CMDC2 is part of the UK Shipping Office for Reducing Emission’s (UK SHORE) flagship multi-year CMDC programme. In March 2022, the Department announced the biggest government investment ever in our UK commercial maritime sector, allocating £206m to UK SHORE, a new division within the Department for Transport focused on decarbonising the maritime sector. UK SHORE is delivering a suite of interventions throughout 2022-2025 aimed at accelerating the design, manufacture and operation of UK-made clean maritime technologies and unlocking an industry-led transition to Net Zero.