CLEAN NORTH SEA SHIPPING: Competitive Marine Transport Services AND Reduction of Emission - a North Sea Model


CNSS focused on emission and greenhouse gas reduction from ships, using studies to reveal the status of air quality in ports and surrounding areas. The partnership of CNSS (ports, business, regions, public authorities, NGOs, research institutes) changed this by creating transparency on cost-efficient technology solutions and developing and improving the introduction of successful air quality programs.

The present challenge is to develop and implement environmentally friendly, cost-effective concepts and practical solutions in line with upcoming standards.

Promoting the development of efficient and effective logistics solutions, the maritime transport system (ships, ports and surrounding areas) will step into a transition processes to meet the demands of enlargement and sustainable development at the same time.

01/10/2010 - 30/09/2013
3 - Improving the Accessibility of Places in the North Sea Region
Area of Intervention
3.3 To promote the development of efficient and effective logistics solutions
ERDF Grant
1,282,287.00 €
ERDF Equivalent
782,782.00 €
Total Eligible Budget
4,130,137.00 €
Lead Beneficiary
Hordaland County Council, Norway
Lars Tveit
Tel: 0047 55 23 93 21
Project Homepage
Beneficiaries per Country
Hordaland County Council
Gasnor AS
Bergen Kommune
Port of Bergen Authority
Telemark fylkeskommune
Port of Antwerp
Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, Ministry of Urban Development and Environment
Institute for Coastal Research, GKSS Research Center
Germanischer Lloyd
The Netherlands
DCMR Environmental Protection Agency
Harlingen Seaport
Groningen Seaports
Swedish Marine Technology Forum
United Kingdom
Shipbuilders & Shiprepairers Association
University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Background and Aim

The project aimed to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emission by looking into available technology and the implementation of cost effective and cleaner energy supply infrastructure to ships in harbours/ ports at sea.

CNSS wanted to contribute to the large scale installation of “clean shipping” technology around the North Sea, e.g. by developing cost-effective implementation concepts (show-cases). Furthermore, CNSS wanted to pave the way for an incentive and regulatory framework, which caused an increased use of environmentally friendly technologies and fuels in shipping and at the same time maintained the competitive position of the North Sea maritime transport.

Maritime transport is a key economic factor. Although it is one of the most environmentally friendly modes of transport referring to good per unit, the increase in global transport makes shipping a significant source of air pollution. Ships are the largest single emission source for Nitrogen oxide, particulate matter and Sulphur oxide emissions in the transport sector. The current EU-Communication on the Future of Transport states that ship born emissions need to be urgently addressed in order to mitigate the exposure of many Europeans to dangerously high levels of air pollution.

Ports suffer from air pollution not only due to arrival/ departure of ships, but also due to emissions during their stays at berth. Today, new regulations have been set into force. Beside the international MARPOL regulation of the IMO, the EU has introduced the “sulphur content of marine fuels” directive. It declares a 0,1 % sulphur limit in fuels for ships at berth in EU ports as from 2010. In the North and Baltic Sea, which have been declared special “Emission Control Areas” (ECAs) by the IMO, this limit will also hold for ships at sea from 2015 onwards. Furthermore, the EU Environmental Council decided in 2009 that CO2 emissions from shipping must be reduced by 20% by 2020.

In order to comply with these regulations ships must change to lighter fuels, which will increase fuel costs drastically and consequently, marine transportation will get more expensive. The industry might respond with re-routeing of goods to places outside the North Sea (e.g. Adriatic Sea) and instead using transportation via land corridors. This development would have strong negative economical effects for the North Sea shipping and port industries.

  • Joint manual on using different Air Quality Programmes
  • Joint North Sea Shipping Strategy
  • Develop a joint “Environmental Statement”
  • Joint guideline on implementation towards cleaner shipping
  • Study on impact of future ship emission scenarios
  • Show case of harmonised monitoring/simulation in 2/4 ports

Work package 4 workshop

CNSS assembly speakers

CNSS assembly 2012

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