Photo: Illustration. Courtesy of Svitzer

Maersk’s Svitzer zeroes in on becoming carbon neutral by 2040

Towage operator Svitzer, part of Maersk, has unveiled its decarbonisation strategy that will enable the company to become fully carbon neutral by 2040.

The decarbonisation strategy consists of two phases. In the first phase, Svitzer aims to reduce the CO2 intensity of its entire fleet by 50% by 2030.

This will pave the way for fully carbon-neutral operations ten years later in 2040, which is in line with A.P. Moller-Maersk’s ambition.

Svitzer’s strategy includes investing time and capital to embed sustainability throughout its business, in day-to-day operations, in its fleet, in people and their jobs and finally, throughout the types of fuels used by the operator’s vessels.

Sviterz said that the progress will be measured against a 2020 baseline, when the company’s fleet of approximately 400 vessels emitted 280,000 of CO2 or the same amount as 110,000 cars.

Some process changes have already been implanted to improve efficiency across the fleet, such as the company’s ‘Aim for 8’ initiative.

The initiative asks the crew to optimise their speed during tug mobilisation and demobilisation and it has saved over 255 tonnes of marine gas oil (diesel) in the UK alone, Svitzer claims.

“Initiatives like these which influence the behaviour of Svitzer’s staff, combined with improved vessel connectivity, integrated performance monitoring across the company’s fleet and improvements to scheduling optimisation, will help drive down emissions in the short term”, the operator said.

As part of the strategy, Svitzer will also focus on changing the fuel mix of its fleet. In line with this plan, the EcoTow project, which has seen Svitzer’s entire fleets in London, Felixstowe, and Southampton switch to low carbon biofuels, is currently being replicated more widely across ports in the UK and in the company’s global operations.

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Additionally, Svitzer intends to begin exploring methanol as a fuel for towage and, in the long-term, take the required steps to retrofit and renew its fleet in order to operate on low carbon fuel solutions.

Finally, the operator plans to focus on improving the efficiency of its fleet from a design perspective as well.

As part of this, the company will launch its TRAnsverse Tug design, which is said to be able to generate higher steering forces than most designs of similar dimensions in a smaller, more nimble package with a reduced environmental footprint.

The Robert Allan design will come into operation from Q3 2023.

The decarbonisation strategy we are launching today is ambitious and sets a clear roadmap for Svitzer but, most importantly, it is absolutely achievable if we focus on the right areas to generate real progress”, said Gareth Prowse, head of Decarbonisation at Svitzer.

“That is why we have split our strategy into three pillars: behaviour, equipment, and fuel, and we will focus on each of these in a step-change fashion to bring about carbon neutrality in a way that works for our customers and maintains the high level of service Svitzer is known for.”

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