Investing in sustainable infrastructure to advance the take-up of low- and zero-emission fuels will yield many benefits, according to a new study by global sustainable development consultancy, Arup, in partnership with Lloyd’s Register Maritime Decarbonisation Hub.
The Canadian Green Shipping Corridor Assessment examines fuel production strategies in three Canadian ports: Vancouver, Prince Rupert and Halifax. It highlights the importance of green shipping corridors as key drivers in the industry’s decarbonisation drive.
The study was commissioned by Oceans North, a charity that supports marine conservation and climate action in partnership with indigenous and coastal communities, and the Vancouver Maritime Centre for Climate. Coordinated action surrounding such corridors will help to demonstrate the impact of low- and zero-carbon fuels, laying the groundwork for their wider use as infrastructure is scaled up across the maritime sector.
Potential fuel production pathways for the three ports were developed to assess the possible uptake of low- and zero-emission fuels through different scenarios. These were then analysed by Lloyd’s Register’s Maritime Decarbonisation Hub to gauge the size, type, and cost of the necessary infrastructure.
The study yielded some exciting conclusions. British Columbia, for example, has one of the lowest carbon intensity grids in the world and therefore has a significant opportunity to produce low carbon fuels such as hydrogen and biofuel. A 200ktpa green methanol plant in the Port of Vancouver, for example, could have the capacity to meet 2040 energy demands.
Meanwhile, in the Port of Prince Rupert, an ammonia plant with associated carbon capture and storage capability would be able to meet 2040 energy demands. In Nova Scotia, significant offshore wind resources could provide sufficient green energy for the development of a USD 500 million sustainable ammonia production plant in the Port of Halifax and distribution to other industrial sites across the region.
Using Arup’s ‘Total Value’ framework, the necessary investments were assessed in the context of natural, economic, financial, and social benefits. The aim was to show that by taking advantage of its abundant natural and human resources, Canada could become key in the elimination of greenhouse gas emissions in maritime transport.
Jo Balmer, Arup’s Americas Maritime Business Leader, said: "Applying Arup’s holistic value framework to green shipping corridors in Canada will be vital to demonstrating how infrastructure for low- and zero-emissions shipping fuels can deliver benefits to regenerating nature and supporting local communities."
Lloyd’s Register’s Environmental and Sustainability director, Americas, Ginger Garte, declared: "Canada has the mindset, talent, and renewable energy landscape to build a coalition that demonstrates zero-emission shipping. We must now unite stakeholders across the entire port supply chain with green shipping corridors – acting as catalysts to eliminate challenges and develop resilient infrastructure blueprints that optimise the co-benefits of Canada’s unique geology."