Montrose Port Authority (MPA), nestled on the North-East Coast of Scotland, is a beacon for sustainability, leading by example for ports in the global energy transition.
MPA’s prominence is rooted in its pivotal role in the energy, transport and logistics sectors. As the largest chain and anchor port globally and with renowned chain inspection company, InterMoor – a division of Acteon, calling Montrose home, MPA plays a crucial role in the supply chain for the energy and general cargo markets in the North Sea and beyond.
As a Trust Port, Montrose reinvests all its profits back into its infrastructure and community, with the installation of shore power demonstrating this commitment. The initiative is a £1 million self-funded joint venture with Plug Shore Power, which will see Montrose become the first Scottish port to introduce large-scale shore power to vessels operating in the offshore energy sector. Shore power allows ships to plug into the local power grid while berthed, eliminating the need for onboard generators. This groundbreaking move redefines maritime energy consumption, significantly reducing emissions and improving air quality for the community in and around the Port.
Demonstrating a commitment to a sustainable future, MPA recently appointed Turgay Köroğlu as Port Decarbonization Engineer through a knowledge transfer partnership with the University of Strathclyde. This strategic 24-month hire exemplifies the Port’s proactive approach to reducing its carbon footprint. Köroğlu’s role involves developing a multi-modal port energy model, positioning the port as a green energy hub. Alongside this, Köroğlu has experience in renewable energy systems and alternative fuels such as hydrogen – an area MPA is highly interested in investigating.
MPA supports traditional oil and gas clients to transition into renewables. The strategic use of moorings, once solely associated with conventional energy, is now a bridge between traditional and renewable energy, particularly floating offshore wind, as there are synergies between the mooring systems used in both sectors. This innovative approach marks a crucial step towards a balanced and sustainable energy mix, underscoring the Port’s role as a versatile and future-ready maritime hub.
This is already shown with Montrose being the operations and maintenance base for Seagreen, Scotland’s largest offshore wind farm that sits 27 kilometers off the Montrose coast. The emerging offshore wind sector has proven promising for MPA, already contributing 22 percent of total vessel revenue for the 2022/2023 financial year.
Through the implementation of shore power and other eco-friendly measures throughout the port estate such as the use of HVO fuel for its pilot vessels, plant and machinery, MPA is actively reducing emissions associated with maritime operations. This reduction contributes significantly to Scotland’s broader efforts to transition to a sustainable, low-carbon economy and reach net zero by 2045.
MPA’s sustainability initiatives resonate deeply within the local community. By championing environmentally friendly practices and supporting the energy transition, MPA fosters a sense of environmental responsibility among its neighbors. The Port Authority also gives back as a Trust Port, heavily reinvesting profits back into the community, with over £360,000 donated to local causes and social enterprises in the past three years.
The Port’s economic significance to Montrose is evident in its purchase and restoration of the historic 19th century Customs House and Granary Store buildings that have been unused for over 20 years. MPA aims to transform these B-listed buildings into a commercially viable space and community hub, preserving local maritime heritage.
As MPA charts its course towards a sustainable future, it invites industry peers, partners and the local community to collaborate in this transformative journey. The commitment to sustainability is not just a strategic decision; it’s a pledge to the environment and future generations. MPA stands tall as a trailblazer in global maritime operations with the hope of inspiring other ports along the way.