Peel Ports’ Heysham wants to be UK’s first fully carbon neutral port

The Port of Heysham, part of Peel Ports Group, revealed that it had reduced the carbon emissions of its landside plant, equipment and vehicles by up to 90%.

The port confirmed that all its vehicles, plant equipment, forklift trucks, tug masters and ancillary equipment are now operating on either electricity or hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO).

“We are transitioning our entire vehicle fleet and landside equipment to run on either electric or HVO in our drive to become net zero across the group by 2040,” Lewis McIntyre, Managing Director, Port Services at Peel Ports Group said.

HVO uses plant-based oils in its composition, which reduces CO2 emissions to the atmosphere by up to 90%, and direct emissions of particulate matter, such as dust, smoke and other fine materials, by up to 65%. HVO can be substituted directly for diesel fuel and is broadly considered a greener option than diesel due to its lower NOx emissions. The port, however, aims to use 100% renewable electricity for its equipment as its ultimate goal.

“Whilst HVO as a transition fuel offers a significant improvement, we are working with manufacturers and suppliers to explore longer-term solutions for the next generation of landside equipment,” McIntyre commented.

As explained, Heysham requires less machinery and equipment in its operations compared to some of the UK’s larger ports, which means the port has been able to reduce emissions much faster than its counterparts.

“We are confident that once we convert the rest of the equipment and transition from gas in our onsite office, Heysham will become one of the first UK ports to become 100% carbon neutral,” McIntyre concluded.

Located in the northwest of England, and due to its close proximity to major industrial clusters, Heysham provides a direct gateway to the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man.

The port handles a wide range of cargo including Roll-on Roll-off, agri-bulks, automotive, project cargo, and energy products.

Peel Ports has committed to becoming a net zero port operator by 2040. Over the past decade, the port operator has invested over £1 billion ($ 1.18 billion) in sustainable infrastructure such as electric cranes, cold ironing capabilities, electric or biofuel vehicles, and increasing rail connections.