Peel Ports’ Heysham in race to become UK’s first 100% carbon neutral port

The Port of Heysham, part of leading port operator Peel Ports Group, has reduced the carbon emissions of its landside plant, equipment and vehicles by up to 90%, in what is believed to be a first for any UK port.

The port has today confirmed all its vehicles, plant equipment, forklift trucks, tug masters and ancillary equipment are now operating on either electricity or Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO).

Whilst using 100% renewable electricity is the ultimate goal for the port operator, HVO uses plant-based oils in its composition, which reduces CO2 emissions to the atmosphere by up to 90%, and direct emissions of particulate matter, such as dust, smoke and other fine materials, by up to 65%. HVO can be substituted directly for diesel fuel and is broadly considered a greener option to diesel due to its lower NOx emissions.

Located in the north west of England, and due to its close proximity to major industrial clusters, Heysham provides a critical and direct gateway to the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man.

The Port of Heysham handles a wide range of cargo including Roll-on Roll-off, agri-bulks, automotive, project cargo and energy products, as well as offering significant warehousing and storage facilities.

Lewis McIntyre, Managing Director, Port Services at Peel Ports Group said: “We are transitioning our entire vehicle fleet and landside equipment to run on either electric or HVO in our drive to become net zero across the group by 2040.

“Whilst HVO as a transition fuel offers a significant improvement, we are working with manufacturers and suppliers to explore longer-term solutions for the next generation of landside equipment.

“Heysham requires less machinery and equipment in its operations compared to some of our larger ports; this means we’ve been able to reduce emissions much faster as part our conversion plans. 

“We are confident that once we convert the rest of the equipment and transition from gas in our onsite office, Heysham will become one of the first UK ports to become 100% carbon neutral.”