Maritime, mining, steel, and energy industry leaders join forces to develop first-ever concept for a green corridor between South Africa and Europe

A new consortium will explore the options for developing a maritime green corridor for the zero-emission shipping of iron ore between South Africa and Europe. This ground breaking initiative is the first of its kind from Africa and represents an important step in the region’s involvement in shipping’s decarbonization.

March 22 2023

Maritime green corridors – routes between major port hubs where zero-emission solutions are supported and demonstrated – have swiftly become recognized as one of the most important tools to aid industry and governments in the decarbonization of the maritime sector.

The consortium brings together Anglo American, Tata Steel, CMB, VUKA Marine, Freeport Saldanha, and ENGIE, convened by the Global Maritime Forum, to assess how zero-emission shipping on the corridor can unlock new opportunities for South Africa’s sustainable development and contribute to a just transition to a zero-emission maritime ecosystem.

This powerful maritime supply chain consortium of iron ore miners and shippers, the steel industry, ship owners, freeport operators, and energy suppliers will explore full-scope concepts for the South Africa-EU green corridor development. The work will look at bunkering and offtake arrangements, available green fuel supplies, and financial and business model alternatives.

The consortium’s initiative to explore the development of the green corridor between South Africa and Europe builds onShipping’s Energy Transition: Strategic Opportunities in South Africa,” a report prepared by P4G and the Getting to Zero Coalition. The report identified promising opportunities for South Africa to establish itself as a key player in the global transition to renewable forms of energy and zero-emission shipping.

Situated along busy international shipping routes, South Africa has the highest volumes of maritime traffic in Africa outside of the Mediterranean region, as well as one of the best-connected port systems on the continent that support the trade of valuable commodities. The development of the green corridor could help drive forward South Africa’s decarbonization ambitions and serve a range of wider national and international objectives.

As the International Maritime Organization prepares to revise its strategy for decarbonization at the upcoming MEPC 80 meeting, this consortium’s initiative to explore the development of the green corridor between South Africa and Europe is yet another demonstration that the industry is preparing for a rapid shift to zero-emission shipping that leaves no country behind.

“It is fantastic to see this powerful industry consortium come together around a new green corridor with one side in South Africa, particularly as it sends a clear signal of industry action as we go into negotiations at MEPC 80 in July,” says Johannah Christensen, CEO of the Global Maritime Forum. “We hope this project will lay bare a viable shipping decarbonization pathway towards real-world implementation, generating sustainable growth and business opportunities for South Africa and the region, with synergies for other sectors of the economy.”

“Cross-industry collaboration is the key to shaping a sustainable maritime industry. We are looking forward to joining other industry leaders in exploring pathways to zero-emission shipping of iron ore between South Africa, where our Kumba mines produce high-quality iron ore, and Europe, where many of our customers are located. An important step toward wider industry decarbonisation, this initiative also aligns with Anglo American’s ambition to reach carbon neutrality for our controlled ocean freight by 2040,” says Peter Whitcutt, CEO of Anglo American’s Marketing business.

“Tata Steel is committed to zero carbon shipping ambition and our participation in South Africa- Europe green corridor for Iron Ore is yet another step in this direction. We believe in just transition wherein the financial risk of a sustainable supply chain is spread across all stakeholders – the supplier, ports, vessel owners, and buyers. The success of this corridor will likely accelerate the shipping industry’s journey towards decarbonized ocean transportation,” says Ranjan Sinha, Chief Group Shipping at Tata Steel.

“CMB is proud to be part of the Green Corridor initiative between South Africa and Europe. CMB has already built various ship types that run on hydrogen and is building dry bulk vessels powered by ammonia. We hope that our track record in the development of green ships will contribute to the success of the consortium and accelerate the deployment of low carbon vessels on this important trade route,” says Alexander Saverys, Chief Executive Officer at CMB.

“VUKA Marine is committed to developing solutions that align shared priorities and shared values across the maritime value chain.  The Green Corridor concept has the potential to accelerate solutions that can bring environmental priorities to the centre of route development,” says Andrew Mthembu, Chairman of VUKA Marine.

“As a pioneering special economic zone operator in South Africa, our company is thrilled to join forces with the key players in the industry to support shipping’s transition to a zero-emission future. With our expertise, we are excited to provide insights into the potential production of green fuels, vessel manufacturing, and servicing in Saldanha Bay,” says Kaashifah Beukes, CEO of Freeport Saldanha.

“ENGIE is eager to bring our global expertise and knowledge encompassing the entire hydrogen value chain to accelerate the establishment of the iron ore green corridor between South Africa and Europe. We are committed to building a carbon neutral world, and renewable hydrogen is key to decarbonizing hard-to-abate and energy intensive industries such as maritime transportation,” says Jonathan Debasc, ENGIE’s Managing Director, Flexible Generation & Retail, Africa.

For questions or more information, please reach out to Global Maritime Forum’s Head of Communications, Rasmus Nord Jørgensen, at

The Global Maritime Forum is an international not-for-profit organization, headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark, committed to shaping the future of global seaborne trade to increase sustainable long-term economic development and human wellbeing.

Anglo American is a leading global mining company and our products are the essential ingredients in almost every aspect of modern life. Our portfolio of world-class competitive operations, with a broad range of future development options, provides many of the future-enabling metals and minerals for a cleaner, greener, more sustainable world and that meet the fast growing every day demands of billions of consumers. With our people at the heart of our business, we use innovative practices and the latest technologies to discover new resources and to mine, process, move and market our products to our customers – safely and sustainably.

Tata Steel group is among the top global steel companies with operations and commercial presence across the world. Tata Steel Limited, together with its subsidiaries, associates, and joint ventures, is spread across five continents with manufacturing and downstream facilities in India, the UK, the Netherlands, and Thailand, and mines in India and Canada. Focussing on Innovation, Technology, Sustainability & People, Tata Steel strives to be the global steel industry benchmark for value creation and corporate citizenship and become the most respected and valuable steel company globally.

CMB (Compagnie Maritime Belge) is a diversified shipping and cleantech group based in Antwerp, Belgium. CMB owns and operates 150 seagoing vessels in dry bulk (Bocimar), container transport (Delphis), chemical tankers (Bochem) & crew transfer vessels (Windcat). CMB is also active in cleantech (CMB.TECH) and real estate (MCA Facilities, Maritime Campus Antwerp). CMB has offices in Japan, Namibia, Singapore, China, Germany, UK and The Netherlands. CMB.TECH is a cleantech company that builds, owns, operates & designs large marine and industrial applications that run on hydrogen and ammonia. CMB.TECH also offers hydrogen and ammonia fuel to its customers, either through own production or by sourcing it from third party producers.

VUKA Marine is a South African bulk shipping company, owned by Via Maritime of South Africa and K-Line of Japan, that emphasizes alignment with the South African maritime agenda, particularly the local registry and the deployment of South African seafarers.

Freeport Saldanha is South Africa’s first freeport, a special economic zone (SEZ) and customs-controlled area (CCA) located at the port of Saldanha Bay. We aim to be Africa’s premier maritime, energy, logistics and engineering freeport, offering a world-class integrated shipyard, engineering, and related services within an SEZ.

ENGIE is a global reference in low-carbon energy and services. With its 96,000 employees, its customers, partners and stakeholders, the Group is committed to accelerate the transition towards a carbon-neutral world, through reduced energy consumption and more environmentally friendly solutions. Inspired by its purpose (“raison d’être”), ENGIE reconcile economic performance with a positive impact on people and the planet, building on its key businesses to offer competitive solutions to its customers.

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