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Svitzer Receives Net Zero Award From Mersey Maritime

Svitzer Elisabeth in Liverpool

Posted on November 8, 2023

Svitzer, a leading global towage provider and part of A.P. Moller-Maersk, has been awarded Mersey Maritime’s Net Zero Award, the company has announced today. The accolade, which was presented during Mersey Maritime’s annual Industry Awards in Liverpool Cathedral, recognises Svitzer’s comprehensive strategy for delivering more sustainable towage operations through behavioural change, equipment development and alternative fuel implementation.

Svitzer is implementing a decarbonisation strategy that aims to reduce the carbon intensity of its operations by 50% by 2030, and that will see the company reach carbon neutrality by 2040. Svitzer has taken practical steps in all three areas of change to progress its decarbonisation strategy. For example, enhancing behavioural optimisation, which has resulted in an initiative encouraging tug masters to “Aim for 8” and stay below 8 knots when mobilising and demobilising to and from tug jobs. This operational change has reduced fuel consumption and avoided the emission of 1,150 tonnes of CO2 equivalent.

Micahel Patterson and Jennifer Beswick of Svitzer receive award from Mersey Maritime (L-R, Professor Mark Power, Michael Patterson, Jennifer Beswick and Sam Quek)

Meanwhile, by working with original equipment manufacturers, Svitzer has been able to redesign drive train systems to optimise engine loads and fuel consumption for a given power requirement. And, in the coming months, the company will launch its first ever TRAnsverse tug, created in collaboration with the naval architect Robert Allan Ltd. Analysis indicates that the new design can bring significant fuel savings compared to conventional tugs.

Speaking on the award, Michael Paterson, Managing Director UK, Svitzer said: “We are thrilled to win this award and to receive this recognition from Mersey Maritime and the community the organisation represents. At Svitzer, we recognise we have a leadership role to play in helping the developing supply and use of low-carbon technologies in our local port communities, with the goal of delivering a cleaner port environment for the whole community. We are committed to implementing our strategy on decarbonisation and delivering more sustainable marine services for our customers and partners in and around the ports.”

In addition to behaviour change and technology development, Svitzer has a clear fuel transition strategy, working with engine manufacturers to ensure the company’s vessels can operate using biofuels. Svitzer has converted its UK fleet, in Merseyside and elsewhere, to run on hydrogenated vegetable oil, a carbon-neutral substitute for traditional marine fuels. The company is also continuing work to develop the use of another biofuel known as FAME in its vessels. Meanwhile, Svitzer is also working with engine and vessel designers to develop tugs that will one day run on green methanol, producing net zero carbon emissions as well as minimal local air pollutants such as sulphur and nitrogen oxides and particulate matter.

Svitzer has adopted science-based targets for its decarbonisation strategy, monitors progress on carbon intensity and overall carbon reduction on a quarterly basis and annually publishes a scorecard to track its overall progress against its goals.


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