Port of Brisbane – Green Button Trials

Port of Brisbane Pty Ltd (PBPL) is committed to reducing its scope 3 carbon emissions, which comprise 98% of its total emissions. Trial technology developed by PBPL and our digital partner, Seaport OPX, has provided exciting early results with the potential to drive significant reductions in shipping emissions.

The largest contributor to PBPL’s scope 3 emissions, is the movement of over 2,800 commercial vessels annually through our ~90 kilometre shipping channel. To address this problem, PBPL and Seaport OPX developed additional functionality into our award-winning physics-based vessel management system, NCOS Online, now used by ports around the world.

Termed ‘Green Button’, this functionality plans and optimises the vessel’s target speed, within operational transit windows, to reduce emissions. An accurate vessel emissions algorithm was developed by integrating:

  • Ship type, particulars, loading and hull shape
  • Detailed forecasts of water depths, ukc, winds, waves and currents throughout the transit
  • Representative engine configuration for each ship class and size
  • Full suite of primary aerosol pollutants according to marine diesel fuel type

The development of Green Button has required intensive collaboration with stakeholders including State Government via Maritime Safety Queensland, to ensure functionality meets their requirements and deliver our shared vision of emissions reductions.

Fuel consumption is sensitive to tidal currents in Moreton Bay, and small changes to vessel transit time and speed make a large difference. While pre-project calculations suggested the potential to realise emission reductions of approximately 10% per vessel, the first five vessels trialed (collaborating with Maersk and CMA CGM) using the tool delivered exciting results exceeding expectations, with a reduction of 51% for one of the vessels. Further savings up to 71% for one of the vessels being possible with better operational support for pilots to closely adhere to recommend dynamic speed profiles necessary to get the full benefits. External recognition would give a helpful boost to this important and ongoing work.