Svitzer appoints its 1st Global head of green ports

Global towage operator Svitzer, a part of A.P. Moller-Maersk, has appointed Australia Chief Commercial Officer Ivan Spanjic as Global Head of Green Ports. 

Image credit: Svitzer

The company created the role recently to focus on unlocking value for partners across the marine supply chain, as the demand for green ports and green shipping corridors accelerates. 

Svitzer CEO Kasper Friis Nilaus believes Spanjic’s role will be central to helping Svitzer’s customers better adjust their assets and operations to become more sustainable. 

“Ports and partners across the marine supply chain have long recognised the importance of growing sustainably and responsibly, contributing positively to the communities in which they operate,” said Nilaus. 

“Svitzer welcomes the opportunity to work collaboratively with these stakeholders and share our experience and insights developed from serving port operations around the world.”

Spanjic starts the role effective immediately and will balance his responsibilities as Australia’s Chief Commercial Officer and Global Head of Green Ports. He will report to Svitzer’s Chief Commercial Officer, Videlina Dimitrova Georgieva.

“I’m incredibly excited to get started as the Global Head of Green Ports. This role is particularly exciting, as the decarbonisation challenge is a highly important, but complex and demanding task. I firmly believe this global issue is best tackled through a partnership approach rather than each member of the supply chain ‘doing it alone’. My key objective in the new role is to create long-term, sustainable value together with our partners and work together to drive decarbonisation in the sector,” Spanjic said. 

Svitzer reported another milestone on the decarbonization front. Namely, the company has achieved gold status in the Port of London Authority (PLA)’s Thames Green Scheme, in recognition of its environmental commitments and decarbonisation strategy. 

Svitzer introduced carbon-neutral biofuel across its Thames-based fleet in 2022 in the form of its towage service called Ecotow. The Ecotow product exclusively uses sustainable second-generation biofuels, produced using waste material such as used cooking oil as feedstocks, certified by ISSC or RSB. Relative to marine diesel, these biofuels reduce carbon emissions by 100% on a tank-to-wake basis and about 90% on a well-to-wake basis. The use of the fuel was successfully trialled on the Thames, home to the UK’s largest port, in 2021.

Thames Green Scheme, launched in 2020, recognises early adopters of new technologies and fuels to create a cleaner and healthier environment for people and wildlife. Svitzer progressed from silver status in the scheme to gold, following the adoption of marine biofuel and use of shore power for six vessels based at the PLA’s operations site Denton in Gravesend. 

Image credit: Svitzer

“It is great to see a global organisation like Svitzer leading the way in adopting new technologies, improving air quality and reducing carbon emissions. This is good news for the tidal Thames, home to the UK’s leading port, where we are driving together towards a Net Zero future,” Alistair Gale, PLA’s director of corporate affairs and strategy, said.

Thames Vision 2050, launched last September, sets out the goal for the Port of London to remain the UK’s leading port, central to the nation’s economy, with Net Zero emissions. The PLA is targeting Net Zero in its own operations by 2040.  

Also committed to becoming fully carbon neutral by 2040, Svitzer is working on the design of the world’s first fuel cell tug for harbour operations, running on green methanol, in cooperation with Maersk, and the build of the next generation multipurpose tug, TRAnsverse Tug, which will be lighter in design, consume less fuel and will use future carbon neutral fuels.

Related Articles