Clean shipping technology for the North Sea

The Clean North Sea Shipping (CNSS) project, which brings together 18 partners from 6 countries, aims to reduce exhaust gas emissions from ships in the North Sea Region.

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Projects such as this are helping the EU to become a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy by 2020, as set out in the EU 2020 growth strategy. The EU is facing some tough challenges, including an ageing population, an insufficiently qualified workforce, the need for greater innovation, striking a balance between economic growth and environmental degradation, and ensuring secure, clean energy supplies. Regional policy projects across the EU are playing an active role in dealing with these and many other challenges, by undertaking projects designed to generate employment, raise educational achievement, develop renewable energy sources, boost productivity and give all citizens access to opportunities. The projects and the regions play a pivotal role in this, as they generate real results that contribute to achieving the strategy’s key goals.

The CNSS objective is to improve the environmental and health situation caused by air pollution and greenhouse gases from shipping along the North Sea coast and within North Sea ports and harbours, by creating awareness, sharing knowledge and convincing influential stakeholders to take action. It is one of a number of projects financially supported by the INTERREG IVB – North Sea Region Program, to give input to the next generation of policy and strategies for the European maritime industry at all levels.

Cause and effect

While maritime transport is one of the most environmentally friendly modes of transport, by good per unit, it is still a significant source of air pollution. The current EU-Communication on the Future of Transport states that ship-born emissions must be reduced to counteract the dangerously high levels of air pollution. EU legislation also declares a 0.1 % sulphur limit on fuels for ships at berth in EU ports as from 2010, and in the North and Baltic Sea region, this limit will apply to ships at sea from 2015. Ships will therefore need to change to lighter fuels, which will increase fuel costs, leading to strong negative economic effects for North Sea shipping and their attendant port industries.

Environmentally friendly and sustainable solutions

The CNSS project is carrying out studies to assess the status of air quality in ports and surrounding areas, leading to the development of transparent cost-efficient technology solutions and improved air quality programs. It will endeavour to implement environmentally friendly, sustainable, cost-effective concepts and practical solutions in line with EU and International Maritime Organisation (IMO) standards.

Clean shipping technology

The project aims to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions by looking into available technology and the implementation of cost effective and cleaner energy supply infrastructure for ships in harbours and ports, and at sea. Its goal is to implement the large scale installation of ‘clean shipping’ technology for the North Sea region, by developing cost-effective implementation show-cases. The project will also launch an incentive and regulatory framework, aimed at increasing the use of environmentally friendly technologies and fuels in shipping, without diminishing the competitive position of North Sea maritime transport.

Expected Outcomes

  • Joint manual on using different Air Quality Programmes;
  • Joint North Sea Shipping Strategy;
  • Develop a joint ‘Environmental Statement’;
  • Joint guideline on implementation towards cleaner shipping;
  • Study on impact of future ship emission scenarios;
  • Show case of harmonised monitoring/simulation in 2/4 ports.

Draft date

29/08/2011