20 May 2024: London based clean energy company, NatPower Marine, has revealed a £3 billion initiative for clean energy ports, investing £100 million in the UK and Irish ports under the management of Peel Ports Group. This investment aims to establish the inaugural commercial electric ship charging network in the UK.

The allocation of funds into Peel Ports’ infrastructure marks the first phase of NetPower Marine's strategy to establish a worldwide charging network comprising 120 ports by 2030. This network aims to facilitate electric propulsion and cold ironing, enabling ships to access clean energy while stationed at the dock.

The partnership will result in the development of this infrastructure across all eight ports managed by Peel Ports. Additionally, the strategy includes the installation of electric charging stations for commercial electric vehicles that transit through these ports.

Backing Peel Ports' goals for Heysham Port in Lancashire to achieve the status of the UK's inaugural net zero port, the plans pinpoint the initial Irish Sea routes as Belfast-Heysham and Dublin-Birkenhead.

Each year, more than 3,000 ships traverse the Irish Sea, resulting in significant emissions. As per the company's report, Heysham Port has successfully decreased emissions from its onshore facilities, machinery, and vehicles by as much as 90%.

Stefano Sommadossi, CEO at NatPower Marine, said in the company press release, “NatPower Marine is investing to deploy the largest global network of charging points to help solve the ‘chicken and egg conundrum’ facing this industry: shipping lines cannot electrify their vessels if port charging infrastructure is not available, and ports are unable to raise capital for charging infrastructure without certainty of demand from shipping lines.”

“With marine trade set to triple by 2050, we urgently need to build the global network of clean energy charging infrastructure the industry desperately needs. Our partnership with Peel Ports Group is the first step in this strategic approach to accelerate the adoption of clean energy in shipping and help cargo owners to reach net-zero.”

Also, Claudio Veritiero, CEO at Peel Ports Group commented, “The proposals presented as part of this partnership are potentially game-changing, and fully support our ambitions to become a net-zero port operator by 2040. We look forward to working closely with NatPower Marine to explore the possibilities for establishing the first green shipping corridor between the UK and Ireland, and further enabling support for our customers, shipping lines and hauliers as they transition to a greener future.”

As the shipping sector evolves, the implementation of such green corridors will be crucial in achieving net-zero emissions and fostering a cleaner, more efficient future for marine trade. The commitment shown by NatPower Marine and Peel Ports underscores the potential for innovative solutions to transform the industry and contribute to a greener planet.