Photo: Image credit Fincantieri

Fincantieri teams up with Enel X to decarbonize ports

Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri and Enel X have signed a letter of intent to work together on building and running next-generation port infrastructure with a low environmental impact and developing electricity-powered solutions for ground logistics services.

Enel X is the global business line of the Enel Group that provides services to accelerate innovation and drive the energy transition. The company provides energy management, financial services, and e-mobility services.

rendering of shore power at ports
Image credit Fincantieri

In its first stage dedicated to projects with a national scope, the agreement would focus on developing cold ironing at ports; management and optimization of energy exchanges in new infrastructure; electricity storage, and production systems that use renewable sources and fuel cells.

The partners want the initiatives rolled out in Italy to be replicated in other countries, such as Spain, Portugal, and Greece.

The focus on decarbonizing ports comes at a time when a growing number of ports and docks in Italy, and subsequently in other European countries, will offer cold ironing.

The activities are part of a major EU decarbonization strategy also know as the EU Green Deal, under which the European economy aims to become independent of fossil fuels, including gas.

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The two companies believe that this initiative will lead to the creation of a far-reaching European cold ironing network.

“Ninety percent of Europe’s ports are located in metropolitan areas, and public opinion in many cities has decried the pollution, noise, and vibrations caused by the engines of docked ships. Development of cold ironing infrastructure will prevent this, as docked ships will have an electrical connection onshore. Today, digitalization, sustainability, and innovation allow us to offer smart, efficient technologies that will reboot Europe’s port and maritime sectors,” said Eliano Russo, Head of e-Industries at Enel X.

“Developing smart, integrated infrastructures and safeguarding the region would catapult the national port system to a new level characterized by sustainability principles. Through the agreements with Enel X, we will make our skill set available to a highly innovative program, laying the foundation for an authentically digital and green transition that will reverberate throughout Italy’s maritime economy, and beyond,” said Laura Luigia Martini, CEO Business Advisor and Executive Vice President of Corporate Business Development for Fincantieri.

Studies show that maritime transport accounts for 940 million tons of CO2 emissions every year, or 2.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Ports are directly impacted by emissions from the shipping industry, which in most cases present the main source of air pollution in the port area.

The current trends toward decarbonizing ports are dominated by the development of shore power facilities and development of bunkering infrastructure systems for alternative fuels.