Data-based analysis can now help countries identify Green Corridor Opportunities

It has been almost a year since the launch of the Clydebank Declaration for Green Shipping Corridors at COP26. Since its launch, 24 states have signaled their ambition to support Green Corridors – routes where zero-emission shipping solutions are demonstrated and supported – with a series of high-profile industry-led initiatives springing up to match, showing the growing momentum behind the concept.

November 16 2022

The core idea behind Green Corridors is to bring together cross-value chain collaborations to facilitate early adoption of zero-emission vessels and infrastructure on given shipping routes, particularly those with favorable conditions for early action.

For many companies and governments, however, it is hard to know where to start – which routes in their country have good potential to become Green Corridors and justify further investigation? For this reason, data on first mover shipping routes is being made available for all to download and use, as well as an accompanying Insight Brief providing case studies on how it may be used to explore Corridor opportunities.

This data was first produced for last year’s Getting to Zero Coalition Strategy for the Transition to Zero-Emission Shipping, which showed that roughly 10% of shipping’s energy demand is located on routes with favorable conditions for first movement, i.e. for the establishment of Green Corridors.
The Insight Brief examines the data for the Clydebank Declaration signatories as a group and three case study routes to illustrate how stakeholders might identify their Green Corridor opportunity.

The yearly activity of thirteen vessels operating exclusively within the cluster between Tokyo and Oita  The Green Corridor opportunity for the Clydebank countries 

The analysis of the Transition Strategy data provides a series of important insights at the level of the Clydebank group as a whole:

  • Scale: There is some 16 million tons of conventional fuel use in Clydebank signatory countries that would be well-placed for early replacement with scalable zero-emission fuel (SZEF) alternatives, including green hydrogen, ammonia, and methanol. This figure amounts to 6.7% of global shipping fuel consumption, meaning that the Clydebank group has more than enough first mover potential to collectively drive the sector past its tipping point.
  • Location: While the data demonstrates good potential for Green Corridors across all regions, Japan is identified as the country with the single largest Corridor potential among signatories, with almost a third of the total fuel replacement potential for the Clydebank group from around 1300 vessels. The United States, United Kingdom, Australia and others are not far behind Japan and can also serve as major drivers of the shipping’s early decarbonization.
  • Segments: Ferries, container ships, and bulk carriers are identified as the individual segments with the biggest Green Corridor potential within the Clydebank fleet, with 18.4%, 7.4% and 6.2% of Corridor potential respectively, though there is a broad range of segments with excellent early adoption potential within the Clydebank fleet. Promoting action across a wide variety of ship types should allow a range of business models to develop that help underpin the transition beyond 2030.
    Exploring Clydebank route case studies

To showcase more specific opportunities, the Insight Brief also includes three case studies across three different Clydebank geographies and Corridor types – domestic shipping around Oita/Osaka, Japan; the transpacific container route between Osaka, Japan, and Long Beach, USA; and the ferry route between Immingham, UK, and Hoek van Holland in the Netherlands.

Each case study showcases a different way a data-driven approach can support the selection and design of potential Corridor projects to reduce cost/risk and maximize success.
Oita/Osaka, Japan Green Corridor: Osaka and Oita are the head ports of two port clusters in Japan. An inspection of different types of regular shipping activity – including traffic within the clusters, between the two clusters, and connecting the two clusters to other Japanese ports in a multi-leg route – shows that both have the potential to serve as bunkering hubs as part of a Japanese domestic Corridor. The analysis suggests that Osaka would be the more cost-effective option for development of the relevant infrastructure due to having more concentrated fuel demand.

Osaka, JP-Long Beach, USA container Green Corridor: The container route between Osaka and Long Beach shows promise based on the vessels’ favorable size, large fuel consumption, and relatively simple operational profile.

Immingham, UK-Hoek van Holland, NL ferry Green Corridor: With concentrated energy demand, regular and dedicated vessel operations, and large and progressive ports anchoring either end, the long-established ferry route between Immingham and Hoek van Holland is also identified as a promising international Corridor. An analysis of the characteristics of the four vessels on the potential Corridor provides insights into how the corridor’s greening can be optimized in terms of scale and the timing of deployment.

The analysis in the Insight Brief reinforces why Green Corridors are a key and credible mechanism for starting shipping’s transition to SZEF now, what scale of project might suit different locations, and how the opportunity they present can be realized across a large number of different countries, routes and ship types.

Over the coming year, this data-based approach will be further developed in collaboration with these stakeholders, with a view to making even more detailed and valuable information available to support interested companies and governments in their consideration, prioritisation, and implementation of potential Green Corridors. The aim is to create further collaboration on and evidence-driven investment into Green Corridors, accelerating shipping’s transition to new energy use and supply chains.

Read the full insight brief here.

The views expressed in this Insight are those of the author alone and not necessarily those of the Global Maritime Forum. Excerpts may be published with reference to the Global Maritime Forum.

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