DUBAI : Two major container port and terminal operators DP World and APM Terminals announced the formation of the Zero Emission Port Alliance (ZEPA), a strategic coalition aiming to accelerate the process to zero emissions for container handling equipment (CHE) at ports.
The two parties said the alliance will start its activities in 2024 and noted that ZEPA membership is open to all industry participants, including terminal operators, OEMs, port authorities and government entities.
During the session to announce the alliance at COP28, APM Terminals and DP World explained that ZEPA will work to increase industry-wide adoption of battery-electric CHE and catalyse further emissions reductions at ports.
“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,” said Jack Craig, Global Head of Technical at APM Terminals.
The focus on battery-electric container handling equipment (BE-CHE) is grounded in research published in a white paper in October 2023, commissioned jointly by the two companies.
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 2-8 years, but only with focused collective action by the entire port ecosystem, according to a statement.
ZEPA’s work focuses on four key workstream objectives:
- 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 adoption of zero-emission CHE
The two operators said that through their membership, potential ZEPA members will accelerate 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.
However, key findings will be accessible to the whole industry, not just ZEPA members, according to the statement.
Tiemen Meester, COO of Ports & Terminals at DP World, commented, “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.”