Port Houston, Shell set sights on decarbonizing port’s container terminals

Port Houston has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Shell to explore key energy, mobility, and decarbonization projects.

The agreement aims to identify new technology and infrastructure opportunities at the port’s terminals that have the potential to ultimately lead to significant emissions reductions.

The first project planned under the MOU will be a study to understand the decarbonization potential at Port Houston’s two container terminals, Barbours Cut Container Terminal and Bayport Container Terminal.

The move is part of Port Houston’s ambition to become carbon neutral by 2050. As announced earlier this year, the port plans to achieve a net-zero GHG footprint by upgrading technology, improving infrastructure and equipment, and utilizing alternative fuels and clean energy sources.

As part of the carbon neutrality action plan, the port is working on eliminating dockside emissions, transitioning trucks to low/no emissions vehicles, green shipping corridors as well as green marine and road fuels.

The deal with Shell is one of the 27 initiatives indetified under the Port Houston Sustainability Action Plan.

We have big goals at Port Houston, but we cannot do it alone,” said Roger Guenther, Port Houston Executive Director.

“The Port Houston team has arranged strategic relationships with several key companies that can help drive us toward our sustainability goals. We will achieve more by working together, and our relationship with Shell is an exciting step forward on our path to carbon neutrality.”

“As the world works toward a more sustainable energy future, this collaboration between Shell and Port Houston will contribute to achieving decarbonization objectives,” said Glenn Wright, Shell Senior Vice President, Renewables & Energy Solutions, Americas.

Building upon our relationship as Port Houston’s renewable energy supplier, we are excited to help Port Houston reach its goal to be carbon neutral by 2050.”

Port Houston reduced its carbon footprint by 55% from 2016 to 2021 through initiatives like the implementation of 100% asset-backed renewable electricity, the port’s data shows.

In June 2022, Port Houston, in partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, officially kicked off the $1 billion expansion of the Houston Ship Channel. Project 11 will widen the channel by 170 feet (51 meters) along its Galveston Bay reach, from 530 feet to 700 feet. It will also deepen some upstream segments to 46.5 feet. The work is expected to be completed by 2025.