Plymouth, Millbay Docks and Brittany Ferries partner on net-zero projects

Plymouth City Council, Millbay Docks and the dock’s major customer Brittany Ferries have pledged to work together to support the docks to grow and to work towards net-zero by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).


As informed, the MoU was signed last week by Councillor Tudor Evans, Leader of Plymouth City Council, Christophe Mathieu, Chief Executive of Brittany Ferries and Henrik Pedersen, Chief Executive of Associated British Ports (ABP). All the partners committed  to working together to ensure Millbay Docks a sustained era of clean, green and good growth, with investment to future-proof facilities at the docks in the future.

Millbay Docks, owned and operated by ABP, covers 50 acres of port estate and is home to Brittany Ferries services, connecting the South West to France and Spain. It handles 400,000 passengers and 150,000 vehicles per year, as well as 80,000 tonnes of cargo each year.

According to the parties, it is well placed to serve established European trade routes as well as the growing cruise market via its two dedicated berths.

Specifically, under the agreement, the partners will work on the following areas:

  • A shared ambition for Millbay Docks to be Net Zero by 2030 supporting new green jobs and investment
  • To maximise the impact of planned capital projects, including quayside passenger access and freight improvements
  • To identify grant funding opportunities for investment in shore power, assisting in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from vessels visiting the docks
  • To develop the freight opportunity for Millbay utilising the Freeport, underlining the importance of trade between France, Spain and the United Kingdom
  • To increase inbound tourism and cruise working with Destination Plymouth and other regional bodies.

“Port cities such as Plymouth have the advantage when it comes to working towards net zero. Transporting goods by ship is one of the cleanest ways of getting products from A to B. Millbay Docks has huge potential to be a major player for new freight opportunities, particularly as part of our Freeport status,” Council leader Tudor Evans OBE stated.

“This year has seen the launch of our wide-ranging new sustainability strategy, ‘Ready for Tomorrow’, which outlines our plan to invest £2 billion in decarbonising our own port operations by 2040, and in major infrastructure projects to enable the wider UK energy transition. If we are going to make Net Zero a reality, it is essential there is a partnership approach, which is why we are delighted to be working with Plymouth City Council and Brittany Ferries to support greener growth for Millbay Docks and Plymouth more broadly,” Associated British Ports’ Chief Executive, Henrik Pedersen, noted.

To remind, in February this year, ABP rolled out its new sustainability strategy, Ready for Tomorrow (RFT), backed by a plan to invest around £2 billion in decarbonising its own operations by 2040. The plan identified five focus areas for action: Net Zero, air quality, biodiversity, waste and water management.

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