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Zero Emission Port Alliance launched at COP28 by APM Terminals and DP World

by Madaline Dunn

APM Terminals and DP World have announced the Zero Emission Port Alliance (ZEPA), an industry-wide strategic coalition aiming to accelerate the journey to zero emissions for container handling equipment (CHE) on ports. 

The alliance will start its activities in early 2024, they shared.

APM Terminals and DP World explained that ZEPA will work to increase industry-wide adoption of battery-electric CHE and catalyse further emissions reductions on ports. 

The focus on battery-electric container handling equipment (BE-CHE), they said, is grounded in research published in a white paper in October 2023, commissioned jointly by APM Terminals and DP World. 

The findings show that BE-CHE can become as or more competitive than diesel CHE as it becomes more “affordable, attractive and accessible.” The point where this happens can occur in the next two to eight years, but “only with focused collective action by the entire port ecosystem,” they added. 

ZEPA’s work focuses on four key workstream objectives to overcome challenges in affordability and accessibility: 

  • Encourage scaled-up production capacity of BE-CHE by manufacturers & reduce product costs 
  • Bring down the cost of batteries and charging solutions, simplify implementation and increase equipment interoperability 
  • Ensure terminal operators and the grid infrastructure are ready for BE-CHE & shore power roll-out 
  • Create better implementation conditions for zero-emission fleets and help accelerate the adoption of zero-emission CHE 

ZEPA members will inform the work program and deliverables based on their practical experience and needs, they said, and through their membership, companies will target accelerating the availability of affordable BE-CHE and will benefit from advantages gained from having a seat at the table in this industry-wide collective action. 

Speaking on the announcement, Jack Craig, Global Head of Technical, APM Terminals, said: “Our industry is in a strong position to drive real, meaningful change to decarbonise ports, and I believe the launch of the Zero Emission Port Alliance is a vital step in the right direction. It is apt for us to launch ZEPA at COP28 where so many significant conversations are taking place to achieve net zero. Today’s launch is a catalyst for collective decarbonisation action across the port industry and a signal to all our colleagues that we are serious about combatting climate change.” 

Tiemen Meester, COO of Ports & Terminals, DP World, added: “Collective, industry-wide action is needed to achieve affordable and attractive battery-electric CHE that can be used globally. The Zero Emission Port Alliance is a results-driven coalition with a clear focus, set up to support and deliver tangible short-term action. I truly believe we are capable of driving the change needed to make port electrification happen. Whilst ZEPA is only at the beginning of the work it has set out to do, I’m confident in the dedication shown by the founding members, and the interest from other industry stakeholders. All involved in terminal operations must play their role in realising zero-emission ports.” 

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