It is a common theme in many business discussions that most major companies are keen to demonstrate their environmental credentials. Business supply chains are an essential component in that effort. Given that 95% of the UK’s trade comes through our ports, it is hard to overstate how important the role played by UK ports is in achieving greener supply chains.
Added to that context, in the Humber there is also the enormous opportunity presented by being the biggest carbon polluting area of the country. That is why it was so exciting in the second half of last year that the Humber 2030 Vision was published by the Humber Energy Board. The vision highlights 18 schemes with a combined value of over £15 billion of private sector investment in green energy and carbon reduction in the Humber. As the port operator in the Humber, it is deeply pleasing that the one thing all 18 of those schemes have in common is they all involve the Humber Ports.
Looking back over 2022, ABP in the Humber have been steadily investing in our equipment to replace diesel burning kit with electric equivalents. New electric cranes, vehicles and other machinery have taken their place in our services.
However, that was just the beginning of the process. In 2023, for the Humber Ports is will be the year of green investment delivery. The year began with the arrival in the Port of Immingham of a road tug that runs on hydrogen, to begin a trial period. If the trial is successful, it will mark the beginning of a roll out of vehicles in our container terminals running on green hydrogen, from which the only emissions are water. As we replace diesel and petrol burning vehicles, it may well be we cannot rely on electricity as the only solution.
During the year, we will also see the arrival of more machinery, such as a new fleet of forklift trucks that will be electric powered.
In terms of energy production, the ports of Immingham and Hull already host the two largest roof-mounted solar arrays in the UK. We are about to add to that by submitting for new wind turbines in three of our four ports in the next month. This could take us from the third of our energy we produce for ourselves from renewables to getting closer to 50%.
Overall, during 2023, the Humber Ports will make a huge stride forward in playing our part in the green supply chain revolution.