Port of Gothenburg;

Port of Gothenburg spearheads project on cutting emissions at construction sites

The Gothenburg Port Authority wants to cut carbon emissions at the port by promoting the use of greener construction equipment and methods in future construction projects.

Port of Gothenburg; Image courtesy: Port of Gothenburg

The port announced plans to include new procurement stipulations for selected contracts in order to cut carbon emissions at the port.

The Emission-Free Construction Sites project has been initiated by the City of Gothenburg and the trade and industry development company Business Region Göteborg. However, the port authority will be the first one to introduce new stipulations in a procurement system.

As much as 20% of carbon emissions from the transport sector currently derive from construction equipment. This figure is expected to rise to 50% as the development of emission-free road transport gathers momentum.

“Being a forerunner in this project is entirely in line with our ambition to be the most competitive port in the world. In our endeavour to achieve this position, we strongly support the groundbreaking initiatives that are being implemented in many areas. We are proud to act as the driving force in this process even if it demands more resources from us as the client,” said Dirk Wallem, Procurement Manager at the Gothenburg Port Authority purchasing department.

The project has resulted in the formulation of five stipulations, each of which could be suitable for different projects and which could be made stricter as the market matures.

This would mean, for example, that the port could demand that a certain proportion of the equipment, work process, or energy consumption should be emission free.

A further option would be to design the valuation model in a way that the prospective contractor is required to set out the measures they intend to take to reduce emissions for a specific contract, which could then give them quality points.

The higher the assured carbon reduction, the more quality points they are awarded. The points would then be weighted to bring down their price, making it more competitive.

There is also the possibility of receiving alternative tenders from the same contractor in which they calculate construction costs in the conventional way and in the emission-free way.

The emission-free alternative would be awarded quality points to calculate a price deduction and it would allow a comparison to be made with conventional construction. Different tenders from the same contractor would give a clear indication of the true cost of emission-free construction.

“We are currently working with our infrastructure department to examine upcoming projects in an effort to identify one that would be suitable for inclusion in our pilot project. As soon as we find a suitable project we will immediately incorporate the stipulations into the procurement process,” said Wallem.

Freight volumes at the Port of Gothenburg have remained stable, despite the ongoing effect the Covid-19 pandemic is having on world trade.

The port said that container volumes remain unchanged while other segments are regaining lost ground following the downturn earlier in the year. 

“The outlook has been brighter since September and that will definitely be the case in the months ahead. Despite obvious concern about a possible second wave of the pandemic and the reverberations, higher volumes are forecast, the market is beginning to shape up, and we expect to close the year in the black,” said Elvir Dzanic, Gothenburg Port Authority chief executive.

Covid-19 had the greatest impact on passenger traffic, both cruise and ferry. The summer peak season for both segments failed to materialise. This is reflected in a 66 per cent fall in ferry passengers through to September, the port said.