Testing the Way to Real Sustainability in Ports


SEA TERMINALS aims to encourage a new culture in the current operative model of the port industry by introducing eco-efficiency as a key variable in order to improve activities and processes linked to Port Container Terminals (PCT’s). The study is oriented to PCT’s as these facilities are remarkable energy consumption centers within the European port sector.
PCT’s are responsible for a major share of GHG and pollutant emissions generated by the intensive use of diesel powered heavy-duty machinery in non-stop cycles (24 hours) during the whole year. In consequence, this not only produces a medium-long term impact due to the contribution of these emissions to global climate change, but also a short-term effect on the population and the environment due to the continuous exhaust of compounds like SOX, NOX and particulate matter responsible for causing respiratory illnesses and several types of cancer.
The integration of energy efficiency into the PCT operating model will cause a significant reduction of GHG emissions, which will benefit both from the economic and environmental points of view. SEA TERMINALS takes as a starting point the learned lessons in the successful project GREENCRANES co-financed by the TEN-T funds, which has demonstrated that alternatives fuels and efficient energy management may generate remarkable positive effects by cutting down energy consumption and in consequence GHG emissions.
SEA TERMINALS seeks to follow the path opened up by GREENCRANES, but taking a step beyond in testing real sustainability in ports. The project will continue developing innovative concepts based onto the adaptation of port machinery, as well as incorporating state-of-the-art technologies capable to be implemented at PCT´s in the short term after being prototyped and tested (being the last mentioned to be developed at the project). Hence the developing of eco-efficient measures at the port industry is being encouraged by the SEA TERMINALS project.


Smart, Energy Efficient and Adaptive Port Terminals – SEA TERMINALS aims to boost the evolution of the port industry towards a progressive and effective low-carbon emission operative model, integrating smart and energy-efficient technologies (hybrid machinery concepts, LNG as a fuel, electrical heavy-duty vehicles) through innovative business and energy-efficient solutions, focused on heavy-duty handling machinery and equipment.
SEA TERMINALS takes as point of departure the lessons learned from the successful TEN-T GREENCRANES co-funded project, which has demonstrated that alternative fuels and smart energy management can produce remarkable positive effects on energy consumption and GHG emissions reduction. SEA TERMINALS aims to keep the way opened by GREENCRANES and continue developing innovative concepts based on retrofitting and last-generation technologies able to be deployed into the port industry market quickly, thus fostering the development of available eco-efficient alternatives for European ports.
SEA TERMINALS will demonstrate by means of real life trials in the ports of Valencia (Spain) and Livorno (Italy) an integrated and comprehensive set of prototypes based on low-carbon emission technologies implemented in last-generation port machinery and equipment. All the prototypes tested and piloted will be business and market-sided oriented, thus being demonstrated their investment feasibility.
The prototypes and pilot actions in SEA TERMINALS will bridge the gap between research and operational test implementation, validating the technologies into two real life scenarios in the ports of Valencia and Livorno therefore reducing the risk for subsequent large scale deployment in EU ports. The expected successful results in the pilot actions would provide valuable information and contribute decisively to many existing PCTs’ decision-making as they would have relevant proofs of how these technologies decrease their GHG emissions whilst reducing their energy bill and increasing their productivity.
One of the reasons whereby port container terminals are not investing in these technologies nowadays is precisely the lack of real life experiments and results from real trials and implementations. There are several reasons for the above mentioned situation, confirmed during the execution of GREENCRANES as well:
It is expensive for heavy-duty machinery and equipment manufacturers to carry out tests in real life scenarios due to several costs: adaptation of the prototypes to the terminals’ operative model, training of terminal staff, etc. These costs are most of the times not affordable both for manufacturers and port operators.
In the same manner, container terminal operators are usually reluctant to test new machinery and technologies within real life operations due to the risk of failures, operative losses or accidents.
Purchase criteria are highly driven by corporate-cultural reasons (for example, a long tradition on using a specific model or machine) more than by technical and investment profitability criteria.
There is not effective communication among port operators due to the strong market competence. Successful stories are not properly communicated and shared with the objective of keeping the competitive advantage.
As a consequence, a situation of “chicken and egg” dilemma arises, thus introducing barriers for the swift investments of new technologies and innovative concepts within an industry with a significant intensity on energy consumption and great environmental impact.
GREENCRANES, as a pioneer action, had been contributed to surpass these barriers defining a new relationship between manufacturers and end users. A new market perspective has been introduced, increasing the level of dialogue between both parties, not only for commercial purposes but also for collaborative and win-win strategies. Proof of that is the high number of manufacturers integrating the SEA TERMINALS consortium.
From the end-user perspective, the ports of Valencia and Livorno will become a real test field for eco-efficient solutions based on alternative fuels (electrical/hybrid, LNG and dual-fuel technologies) and smart energy efficiency management (SEAMS), thus leading port container innovation in Europe.
1.- Develop and deploy to the market a comprehensive set of low carbon and eco-efficient alternatives for European PCTs.
2.- Design, prototyping and deployment of a Smart, Efficient and Adaptive Energy Management System (SEAMS).
3.- Design and prototyping of eco-efficient, LNG powered, hybrid and full electric port container machinery.
4.- Develop real life trials involving last generation SEA TERMINALS prototypes.
5.- Definition of Standards and Policies Based on the Project Results to Ensure the Adoption of These Technologies by a Critical Mass of PCTs in the EU.

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