Portsmouth International Port has secured the funding through the Zero Emissions Vessels and Infrastructure competition (ZEVI), a UK Government initiative delivered in partnership with Innovate UK. This substantial grant marks the inception of an innovative decarbonisation endeavour in collaboration with Brittany Ferries, the University of Portsmouth, MSE International, B4T, IOTICS, and Swanbarton.
Under the SEA CHANGE project, Portsmouth International Port will oversee the development, construction, and operation of a cutting-edge ‘shore power’ system at its three busiest berths. This pioneering infrastructure will enable visiting ferry and cruise ships to switch off their engines while docked, as they can connect to a green electricity supply for onboard operations.
SEA CHANGE has the potential to reshape the landscape of the UK’s maritime sector, further solidifying Portsmouth International Port’s standing as a dynamic hub for green technology experimentation and a leader in sustainability.
Brittany Ferries, as part of its commitment to environmental stewardship, will introduce two new LNG-electric hybrid ferries in 2025. These vessels utilise a blend of cleaner liquefied natural gas (LNG) and battery power. With the availability of shore power at the port, the ferries will have the capacity to charge their batteries and operate on electric power while navigating Portsmouth harbour. This transition will enhance air quality and align with the industry’s overarching transition to zero-emission shipping.
The implementation of shore power infrastructure will significantly curtail harmful emissions and enhance air quality in the vicinity of the port. It is projected that this system will yield annual savings of over 20,000 tonnes of CO2e starting from 2027. To put this into perspective, it is equivalent to the annual carbon footprint of approximately 2,500 UK households or approximately 11,111 round trips by plane from London to New York.
This ambitious project has brought together a consortium comprising academic experts, marine specialists, and some of the UK’s most innovative technology SMEs, working in partnership with Portsmouth International Port and Brittany Ferries to realise its goals.
Dr David Hutchinson, Associate Professor in Environmental Innovation and Innovation and Impact Development Manager for the Faculty of Technology at the University of Portsmouth, said:
“We are very excited and proud to be part of this project to develop innovative and sustainable power systems, to bring about significant reduction in carbon emissions and improvement in air quality in and around Portsmouth.”
“SEA CHANGE underscores the critical importance of the university and city joining forces to combat climate change. This collaboration not only strengthens our resolve to address the pressing challenges of our era but also showcases the profound impact that unity and innovation can have on our shared commitment to a sustainable future. Together, we’re charting a course toward a cleaner, more resilient world, where the University of Portsmouth and our port-city stand as exemplars of climate-conscious leadership.”