A new consortium will explore the options for developing a maritime green corridor for the zero-emission shipping of iron ore between South Africa and Europe. The consortium brings together Anglo American, Tata Steel, CMB, Vuka Marine, Freeport Saldanha, and Engie, convened by the Global Maritime Forum, to assess how zero-emission shipping on the corridor can unlock new opportunities for South Africa.

This groundbreaking initiative is the first of its kind from Africa and represents an important step in the region’s involvement in shipping’s decarbonisation. Maritime green corridors – routes between major port hubs where zero-emission solutions are supported and demonstrated – have swiftly become recognised as one of the most important tools to aid industry and governments in the decarbonisation of the maritime sector. 

Full-scope concepts

This powerful maritime supply chain consortium of iron ore miners and shippers, the steel industry, ship owners, freeport operators, and energy suppliers will explore full-scope concepts for the South Africa-EU green corridor development. The work will look at bunkering and offtake arrangements, available green fuel supplies, and financial and business model alternatives.

The consortium’s initiative to explore the development of the green corridor between South Africa and Europe builds on “Shipping’s Energy Transition: Strategic Opportunities in South Africa,” a report prepared by P4G and the Getting to Zero Coalition. Situated along busy international shipping routes, South Africa has the highest volumes of maritime traffic in Africa outside of the Mediterranean region, as well as one of the best-connected port systems on the continent that support the trade of valuable commodities.

Clear industry signal

“It is fantastic to see this powerful industry consortium come together around a new green corridor with one side in South Africa, particularly as it sends a clear signal of industry action as we go into negotiations at MEPC 80 in July,” says Johannah Christensen, CEO of the Global Maritime Forum. “We hope this project will lay bare a viable shipping decarbonisation pathway towards real-world implementation, generating sustainable growth and business opportunities for South Africa and the region, with synergies for other sectors of the economy.”

“Cross-industry collaboration is the key to shaping a sustainable maritime industry. We are looking forward to joining other industry leaders in exploring pathways to zero-emission shipping of iron ore between South Africa, where our Kumba mines produce high-quality iron ore, and Europe, where many of our customers are located. An important step toward wider industry decarbonisation, this initiative also aligns with Anglo American’s ambition to reach carbon neutrality for our controlled ocean freight by 2040,” says Peter Whitcutt, CEO of Anglo American’s Marketing business.

Providing insights

“Tata Steel is committed to zero carbon shipping ambition and our participation in the South Africa- Europe green corridor for iron ore is yet another step in this direction. We believe in just transition wherein the financial risk of a sustainable supply chain is spread across all stakeholders – the supplier, ports, vessel owners, and buyers. The success of this corridor will likely accelerate the shipping industry’s journey towards decarbonized ocean transportation,” adds Ranjan Sinha, Chief Group Shipping at Tata Steel.

“CMB is proud to be part of the Green Corridor initiative between South Africa and Europe. We have already built various ship types that run on hydrogen and are building dry bulk vessels powered by ammonia,” says Alexander Saverys, Chief Executive Officer at CMB. 

Route development 

“Vuka Marine is committed to developing solutions that align shared priorities and shared values across the maritime value chain.  The Green Corridor concept has the potential to accelerate solutions that can bring environmental priorities to the centre of route development,” Andrew Mthembu, Chairman of Vuka Marine weighs in. 

“With our expertise, we are excited to provide insights into the potential production of green fuels, vessel manufacturing, and servicing in Saldanha Bay,” says Kaashifah Beukes, CEO of Freeport Saldanha. 

Jonathan Debasc, EngieE’s Managing Director: Flexible Generation & Retail, Africa concludes,” We are eager to bring our global expertise and knowledge encompassing the entire hydrogen value chain to accelerate the establishment of the iron ore green corridor between South Africa and Europe.


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