100 % Carbon neutral towage services support Peel Ports' Net Zero by 2040 commitment

25 April 2023

22 Svitzer tugs operating in Peel Ports locations have successfully been converted from Marine Gas Oil (MGO) to Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (HVO). Annual emission reductions of close to 15,000 tonnes of CO2 are expected in support of Peel Ports’ net zero by 2040 commitment. 


Peel Ports, the second largest ports group in the UK, enabling businesses to benefit from innovative and sustainable port centric solutions, and Svitzer, the world’s leading provider of sustainable marine services and part of A.P. Moller-Maersk, are jointly taking important steps forward to become net zero by 2040.  


Throughout 2022, Svitzer converted 55 of its UK-based tugs from Marine Gas Oil (MGO) onto hydrogenated vegetable oil-based fuels (HVO), sourced only from secondary feed stock (waste products), thereby dramatically reducing carbon emissions for its fleet.


At Peel Port locations, Svitzer’s MGO to HVO conversion was performed on 22 tugs starting in April 2022. With more than 8,000 tug jobs performed in Liverpool, Greenock/Grangemouth, and London-Medway, approximately 11,500 tonnes of CO2 were saved in 2022 alone. Going forward, this will result in annual emission reductions close to 15,000 tonnes of CO2.


At the same time, Svitzer’s implementation of its “Aim for 8!”behavioural change program, which focuses on keeping tug mobilisation and demobilisation speeds below 8 knots, has enabled an additional avoidance of 2,600 tonnes of CO2 emissions across Europe since 2020.


Lewis McIntyre, Managing Director of Port Services said: “Being a responsible business means taking an active role in protecting and enhancing the environments that we operate within, ensuring a more sustainable future for all. This commitment is reflected in the wide range of carbon saving initiatives we’ve already undertaken, from electrifying our vehicles to using HVO as an alternative to diesel in our plant and equipment. This focus was recognised in March when Peel Ports was named Clean Maritime Operator of the Year at the Maritime UK Awards 2023. Our partnership with Svitzer underlines the benefits of working closely with the Ports supply chain and ecosystems to achieve Net Zero.”


Certified scope 3 emission reductions
Peel Ports and Svitzer both share the ambition of reaching net zero by 2040. Within that context,   
Svitzer customers operating in and out of Peel Port locations can benefit from carbon-neutral towage services through certified scope 3 emission reductions (according to Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials standards) through its EcoTow solution.  

Gareth Prowse, Head of Decarbonisation, says: “With an estimated 95 % of the world’s goods traded by sea, ports, as significant enablers of trade, play an instrumental role in helping to reduce climate change. At Svitzer, we’re excited to support Peel Ports in their efforts to decarbonise marine operations by offering ships operating in the port 100 % carbon neutral towage services[1] through our EcoTow solution. It’s another important step forward to reduce the CO2 intensity of our global fleet by 50 % by 2030 and to have 100% carbon neutral operations by 2040.”

He continues: ”We’re making a serious commitment towards decarbonisation, and based on our recent discussions with Peel Ports, there’s no doubt that they’re equally committed to decarbonisation. This applies through investments in sustainable infrastructure, by bringing sustainable solutions to customers and port user networks, through partnerships, and by constantly challenging the status quo. We look forward to continuing our close collaboration focusing on how to best support Peel Ports’ vision of becoming a net zero port operator.”

In the UK alone, Svitzer’s conversion of 55 tugs saved 22,000+ tonnes of CO2 last year and will result in a 38,000+ tonnes annual emissions reduction going forward, almost 14 % of the company’s total carbon emissions from MGO.


For more information about EcoTow, Svitzer’s carbon neutral towage service, click here.


[1] Measured based on a Tank to Wake perspective for fuel consumption.