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Port Esbjerg joins Getting to Zero Coalition

The first zero emission vessels are to be put into operation by 2030. This is the target of the global Getting to Zero Coalition, an alliance launched last year by prominent players in the shipping industry. Now, Port Esbjerg has also joined the coalition.

“Shipping is an international industry that knows no boundaries. International collaboration is therefore imperative to achieving zero emission shipping. We all need to talk to others in the industry,” says Jesper Bank, CCO at Port Esbjerg.

The UN’s International Maritime Organization, IMO, has an ambition of reducing total greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping by at least 50 per cent by 2050 compared to the 2018 levels. That is why the Getting to Zero Coalition was launched to contribute to achieving this target.

More than 100 global organisations and companies have already joined the coalition – including Maersk, DFDS, Ørsted, Bunker Holding and now Port Esbjerg. The coalition works within four key areas: ’Fuels and technologies’, ’Motivating first movers’, ’Closing the competitiveness gap’ and ’Global opportunities for zero emission fuels export’. The coalition will hold seminars and workshops on each of these key areas and launch specific projects with the members.

Port Esbjerg will in particular focus on contributing and gaining more knowledge of the maritime industry’s need for port infrastructure.

“This knowledge sharing is relevant to us because ships from all over the world call at our port, and our wind turbine components in particular are shipped worldwide. Consequently, the international context is crucial to us, and we need to maintain a dialogue with the other major ports, global shipping companies and international industry players. The Getting to Zero Coalition lets us do that on a large scale,” says Jesper Bank.

The initiative to launch the Getting to Zero Coalition was taken last year. The Danish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Jeppe Kofod, took the floor at the UN press conference and said that he was very pleased with how far the industry had already progressed.

“We’re already seeing action in the shipping industry and I am very proud of how much has already been achieved. Shipping may help pave the way for other modes of transport as we need to transform the entire sector in order to combat climate change in future.”

 Port Esbjerg is now a member of the global "Getting to Zero Coalition" together with companies such as Maersk, Oersted and Bunker Holding.

BIP centre at the port of Esbjerg ready for no deal scenario

January is fast approaching, and the EU and the UK have still not reached a deal on Brexit so the situation remains uncertain. Regardless of the outcome, the UK will be a third country to the EU, but will the two sides land a trade deal that might leave things much as they are now, or will there be a hard Brexit with tariffs being applied on all goods?

This uncertainty is by no means a new issue, which is why Port Esbjerg has for the past many months been preparing for a no deal scenario by establishing a Border Inspection Post (BIP) at the harbour where the Customs Agency and the Veterinary and Food Administration will have inspection areas for imports from third countries. Preparations are in full swing and construction is running to plan, so the facilities will be ready for the Veterinary and Food Administration to start up on 28 December.

“Currently, we handle about 4 million tonnes of goods through Esbjerg, with 1.6 million tonnes originating from the UK. So obviously, Brexit will have a great impact on our goods revenue. That’s why it’s essential that we can keep the trade flowing, even in the event of a no deal scenario,” says Port Esbjerg CEO Dennis Jul Pedersen, and he continues:

“It’s important to us that we can continue to support our customers in the best way possible. That’s why we decided to set up the BIP centre even though we weren’t sure if we’d need it.”

The particular role the BIP centre will come to play remains uncertain until there is more news from the EU and the UK. If there is a Brexit deal, the BIP centre can provide a different function than originally envisaged, although it will also still be used for spot checks and customs paperwork to be exchanged with the authorities.

“Obviously, we’re hoping for a deal, even if that would change our plans for the BIP centre a bit. And even if we won’t be needing the BIP centre to handle Brexit to the extent anticipated, this will not be a wasted effort. Instead, the BIP centre would be able to provide a special service to our customers, as it can help them look to the world and to export opportunities to third countries outside the EU,” says Jul Petersen.

For the past months Port Esbjerg has been preparing for a no deal scenario by establishing a Border Inspection Post (BIP) at the harbour where the Customs Agency and the Veterinary and Food Administration will have inspection areas for imports from third countries. 
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