Port city interface
The threat of a “second wave” hanging over Europe and the severity of the epidemic in America have not cut short the process of city-port integration, which is often an effective means of tackling the crisis.
In Valparaiso (Chile), representatives of the tourist industry, the municipality and the port came together to find joint solutions involving the city, port and businesses to get tourism going again. Nor has the crisis dimmed the commitment of associations and public bodies to work together in cooperation with the port. In Long Beach (United States), the port authority has even released new funding to kick-start port-city projects of this kind.
In Europe, city-port integration projects are continuing, while economic recovery plans are being refined. In Santa-Cruz de Tenerife (Spain), the port is looking at more than 20 societal integration projects to benefit citizens, and the city is set to buy 2,500m² of port land to build an infants’ centre.
Energy transition and circular economy
With climate change contributing to more and more instances of forests fire and flooding around the world, innovative solutions are emerging to make port and urban activities greener. In France, port authorities in Paris have commissioned a major study of river traffic and the energy transition, aimed at reducing the carbon footprint of shipping on the Seine. Meanwhile, the port of Abu Dhabi (UAE) has targeted smart solutions, with an optimisation plan that aims to halve carbon emissions from its container traffic.
Private-sector businesses have a big part to play in this global effort. In South Korea, the giants Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) and Samsung have joined forces to develop smart technologies that will cut atmospheric pollution from shipping.
Awareness has raised among African port cities about the role they can play in food logistics and supply. Pioneering innovation: the first fruit export by train has been carried out from Addis-Ababa (Ethiopia) to the port of Djibouti, where refrigerated containers can be shipped to European markets. This has been possible thanks to a technical aid from the port of Rotterdam (The Netherlands). An integrated railway and cold storage network (NCLN) will allow Ethiopian producers to import and export food through the port of Djibouti.
Import-export is one possibility, but local production turns out to be an essential asset to ensure food supply. Port cities have a card to play, as in Kribi (Cameroon) where a “Green belt” will be developed around the port to produce vegetables and daily life food for the city.
Born from sea water, port cities have also a role to play in drinkable water. In Douala (Cameroon), the port has created a company to produce and distribute drinkable water. The CEO of the port has ensured of its support to the city in case of water shortage. A “refreshing” cooperation!
Energy transition and circular economy
The first “BioHub Port” in Malaysia will be built in the province of Sarawak. Its total cost is estimated to 4 million € and it is expected to start in early 2021. This biomass hub will be built thanks to a collaboration between Malaysian companies and the Port of Rotterdam, which is a member of AIVP. The local partner, Port of Bintulu, has elaborated a “Smart Digital Green Port Blueprint initiative” which integrates the future biomass hub, and should contribute to add 35 000 new jobs.
In Singapore, the Port of Jurong has installed a 9.65 megawatt solar photovoltaic system whose electricity will be used both for port operations and for the city’s power supply. In addition, the port is testing an artificial intelligence-driven system which will further reduce its carbon footprint, and has started to electrify and automate its cranes and ground vehicles. Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore and its partners have set aside S$40 million for R&D in low-carbon technologies.