Accelerate green shipping and digitalised shipbuilding

The maritime sector in the Northern Netherlands is pooling its knowledge and expertise to realize the technology needed for “green” shipping and digitalised shipbuilding. The “Green Maritime Coalition”, founded on the initiative of the Groninger Maritime Board and Conoship International, wants to lead the way in the transition to large-scale emission-free shipping. To this end, the partners are developing the “Green & Digital Maritime Innovation Ecosystem North-Netherlands” (GDMIEN-NL). The initiative is supported by the Province of Groningen and SNN with an ERDF subsidy of 1.4 million euros.

The Green Maritime Coalition (GMC) was established with the following objectives in mind:

  • Innovative Industry Development in the Northern Netherlands: developing new technologies for emission-free shipping, as well as for related industrial activities for building and supplying the equipment and installations for ships from existing industrial sectors. This objective makes the most of opportunities within the energy transition.
  • Maintaining and structurally expanding employment in the most important sector of the Northern Netherlands manufacturing industry: the maritime industry.
  • Accelerating emission-free shipping by offering society the opportunity to build the first “green” ships now, based on existing knowledge, and kickstart the building process and industrial activities required for a large fleet of emission-free ships.

The large (replacement) demand for ships combined with the strong need for emission-reducing technologies for emission-free shipping is a huge opportunity for the Northern Netherlands. Its innovative industrial maritime “ecosystem” has the potential to become a major world player in developing and supplying green technologies for shipping. These green technologies provide the (Northern) Netherlands with very concrete tools to accelerate the reduction of nitrogen and CO₂.

Employment: 5000 additional FTE by 2030
The new industrial activities will focus entirely on the production of green energy systems and emission-free ships. This will lead to the of employment in existing maritime companies (now about 4500 FTEs) and expanding the employment in new and existing factories with about 5000 FTEs by 2030.

Some “green” technologies that are currently used only land are already compatible with use on ships. This means that the industry transition can already begin. By combining this with the digitalization and robotization of the shipbuilding process of the Northern Netherlands shipyards and their co-makers, this transition will go hand in hand with a major technological innovation in shipbuilding. This means the innovative emission-free ships can be built here in a very competitive manner. This makes employment in this industry in the North of the Netherlands even more future proof.

Contribution to emission-free economy: 18 megaTon CO
& x kiloTon NOx (nitrogen) reduction potential of fleet built in the Northern Netherlands up to 2050

The accelerated emission-free shipping offers the region, its industrial transition, and society an enormous additional opportunity. After all, society is eager for an accelerated transition to an emission-free economy, without the emission of CO₂ and nitrogen compounds (NOx). With the right support from government, the plans of the Green Maritime Coalition can make a considerable contribution to this in the very short term by beginning with what is already possible. This will bring many emission-free ships into commercial service.

This makes the Northern Netherlands a potential world player in the field of developing and producing the required innovative emission-free ship propulsion technology, and in building and supplying the ships in which that technology is optimally integrated.