Energy giant BP has reinforced its commitment to making Aberdeen a greener place by forming a new partnership with the city’s harbour.
The “memorandum of understanding” (MoU) is aimed at helping the Granite City become Scotland’s leading port for energy transition.
BP already has a partnership with Aberdeen City Council (ACC).
The company is helping the local authority achieve its net-zero strategic infrastructure plan and vision to not just reduce carbon emissions but make Aberdeen a climate-positive city.
Harbour ‘uniquely positioned’
Announcing the MoU, BP North Sea senior vice-president Emeka Emembolu said: “For nearly 30 years Aberdeen harbour has provided BP with world-class facilities in support of our North Sea oil and gas operations.
“We will be bringing BP’s core skills in solving complex energy problems to a progressive and highly capable port that is uniquely positioned to play an integral part in Scotland’s energy transition.”
Mr Emembolu added the partnership would help make Aberdeen a “central player in the world of energy” for decades to come.
Asked about funding for any projects taken forward under the MoU, BP’s North Sea chief said this would be discussed further down the line – beyond the feasibility study stage.
Aberdeen Harbour Board (AHB) chief executive Bob Sanguinetti said the new collaboration with BP came at a “significant” time for the UK’s oldest existing business.
The port was established commercially by King David I of Scotland in 1136.
Its MoU with BP, a green port strategy and £350 million harbour expansion project coincide with an energy transition that is happening faster than anyone expected.
BP and AHB will work together to identify and develop projects aimed at reducing carbon emissions and lowering air and noise pollution from vessels calling at the port.
One of these is a pilot project to supply shore power – quayside electrification using a zero or low carbon power supply – for vessels visiting Aberdeen, allowing them to switch off their engines.
AHB and BP will also together explore the use of hydrogen as a clean marine fuel, while also striving to position the harbour to support offshore wind energy developments.
These and other projects are expected to help Aberdeen play a key role in meeting Scotland’s net-zero ambitions, as well as the “greening” of the maritime industry.
Mr Sanguinetti said: “Reducing emissions from vessels berthed in the port and providing low carbon power supplies will be critical to achieving a green maritime industry, and requires innovative thinking and practices.
“We look forward to working with BP and our stakeholders to further realise net-zero ambitions, combine our expertise and, ultimately, bring prosperity to the north-east of Scotland, and the wider maritime and energy industry.”
AHB’s CEO predicted Aberdeen would play a leading role in the development of offshore wind and other renewable energy technologies – creating many new jobs.
Decades of supporting the oil and gas industry and the huge investment in harbour expansion can put the Granite City at the forefront of this developing sector, he added.
Aberdeen harbour was recently awarded more than £400,000 from the Department for Transport to fund a joint demonstration project aimed at providing shore power within the existing north harbour.
Meanwhile, BP was announced as the preferred bidder to form a new hydrogen-focused joint venture with ACC following a competitive procurement process.
Their proposed alternative energy “hub” would be Scotland’s first scalable hydrogen production site, incorporating solar power, green hydrogen production and a refueling facility for public transport.
Support for ports and harbours is also a key part of BP and partner EnBW’s joint bid in the ScotWind offshore wind leasing round.
The BP-EnBW partnership is expected to deliver 2.9 gigawatts of clean energy.