Arctic Circle Assembly

The 2023 Arctic Circle Assembly will be held in Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre, Reykjavik, Iceland, on 19th - 21st of October.

Image of Harpa Concert hall walls with sky in the background

Shipping Toward the Green Future

EFLA Consulting Engineers is hosting a breakout session at the Arctic Circle Assembly 2023 in Ríma A, Ground floor of Harpa on Friday 20th, from 16:10 - 17:05.

The "Shipping Toward the Green Future" session at ACA explores Iceland's energy transition initiatives and sustainable port planning, highlighting the maritime industry's commitment to green energy solutions and thus sustainability. This session serves as a platform for sharing experiences, lessons, and ambitions in the pursuit of a more sustainable maritime future.

The Icelandic Energy Transition Projects, Experiences and Lessons Learned

Jón Heiðar Ríkharðsson, Mechanical Engineer, C.S./MBA - Specialist - EFLA Consulting Engineers, Iceland

Speakers bio

Jón Heiðar Ríkharðsson is a specialist and project manager at EFLU's Industrial Division. He has a wide range of experience in fish industry, energy transition, and business development. His focus is mainly on business development and feasibility analyses in energy transition, aquaculture, fish processing, and food production including feed production and greenhouses. Furthermore, he has been involved in projects related to resource utilization improvement, sustainability, and circular economy.

About the presentation

Iceland has started the third energy transition era mainly focusing on the transport sectors on land, sea, and in the air. The first energy transition was electrification with renewable energy and the second was domestic heating with geothermal energy.

Ports have always played a key role in the transportation of oil and coal even before the earlier energy transition. During the third energy transition, ports still play a crucial role in terms of energy and can be considered energy hubs for land and sea transportation.

The energy will be green and with various types of electricity, e-fuels, and biofuels. This calls for the production of renewable energy, infrastructure for transportation to the ports, and, most importantly, energy infrastructure in the ports to service ships, trucks, and airplanes.

Projects that support the developments for energy transition will be presented. An overview of how ports play a key role in larger international climate projects in Iceland such as Carbfix and Running Tide is given.

Furthermore, the earlier energy transition and lessons learned to accomplish the energy transition in Iceland aiming at achieving energy independence are presented.

Sustainable Port Planning - Ports: The Future Hubs

Majid Eskafi, Port and Coastal Engineer, Ph.D - Specialist - EFLA Consulting Engineers, Iceland

Speakers bio

Dr. Majid Eskafi is an experienced specialist with a demonstrated background in port planning, engineering, and management. His focus is sustainable port planning. He has conducted various international port and coastal projects. Dr. Eskafi has published several scientific articles in the field of port and coastal engineering.

About the presentation

Ports are pivotal nodes in the global multimodal transport system, and function as logistics centers for the flow of containerized and non-containerized cargo as well as passengers. Furthermore, ports are considered suitable locations as hubs for the production and distribution of energy. Therefore, ports can play important roles in undertaking green initiatives of decarbonizing the maritime chain to contribute to national and international climate policies. Moreover, sustainability has become a high-profile objective of stakeholders in greenfield and brownfield port development projects. To account for sustainability new or changing objectives of stakeholders should be addressed. The stakeholders have different and, in many cases, conflicting objectives. To meet the desired objective of stakeholders the trend in port sectors should be identified. Through multi-stakeholder alliances, a comprehensive port plan should be developed to not only minimize the conflict between stakeholders but also, they can benefit from each other's activities.

How to Keep on Utilizing Green Domestic Energy

Þorsteinn Másson, Managing Director at Blámi Consultant, Iceland

Speakers bio

Thorsteinn Masson serves as the Managing Director of Blami Consultant, backed by Landsvirkjun, Orkubu Vestfjarda, Vestfjardastofa, and the Ministry of Environment, Energy, and Climate. Blami is committed to accelerating the adoption of green energy solutions, including sustainable electricity, advanced battery systems, and eco-friendly fuels. These initiatives span various sectors, including transportation, maritime operations, and industry.

With degrees in both Business and Marine Engineering, Thorsteinn brings extensive experience from his tenure in the fishing and aquaculture industries. Blami has formed strategic partnerships with key players across multiple domains—ranging from aquaculture and fishing organizations to cutting-edge tech firms, municipalities, and government agencies. Together with his dedicated team, Blami has spearheaded innovative projects aimed at reducing carbon emissions and bolstering the use of sustainable energy.

About the presentation

Iceland offers a unique landscape for renewable energy, benefiting from competitive and stable pricing for its sustainable electricity. While the potential is significant, particularly in the realms of using this green energy for transportation and fishing, there are challenges that need to be addressed.

Thorsteinn will discuss suitable energy carriers for various maritime users and provide a comprehensive look at the infrastructure that needs to be in place. He'll also offer realistic timelines for the integration of new technologies and highlight the value of launching green pilot projects.

The Voyage to Net Zero

Hilmar Pétur Valgarðsson, Chief Operational Officer at Eimskipafélag Íslands hf., Iceland

Speakers bio

Hilmar is the Chief Operational Officer (COO) at Eimskipafélag Íslands hf. since January 2019. From 2008 to 2018, he was the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for Eimskip. Hilmar was the CFO of Containerships Ltd. OY in Finland from 2006 to 2008 and Senior Manager of Eimskip's Financial Control Department from 2004 to 2006.

Hilmar received a Cand. Oecon. degree from the University of Iceland in 1999.

About the presentation

The shipping industry faces critical transitions in the coming years. Innovation and technical development are underway, and it is evident that multiple solutions will be needed to replace fossil fuels to reach net zero targets. In general, shipping companies are announcing very ambitious targets for reducing carbon emissions and the voyage ahead demands large investment and effort. The single largest threat is likely the availability of new energy sources. Hilmar will describe Eimskip’s journey and what opportunities and challenges the company is facing.

Green focus on ports - An international showcase of the Ports of Bremen

Robert Howe is the Managing Director of Bremen Ports, Germany

Speakers bio

Robert Howe was born in 1962. He graduated with a master of science in civil engineering from TU Braunschweig (the Brunswick Institute of Technology) in Germany in 1992.

Mr. Howe started his career working for the German building and construction company Philip Holzmann AG in Hannover for around 10 years. In 2002 he changed employment to the German building and construction company Ed. Züblin AG in Bremen and Hamburg.

Mr. Howe joined Bremenports Ltd., the public owned Ports Management Company of the State of Bremen, as Managing Director since 2012.

About the presentation

Ports are no longer just only a place of port handling. Ports are international gateways, critical infrastructures and can play an important role in the sustainable energy transition of a region or country. On the other hand ports have a huge enviromental impact, are strong employers and shall nevertheless be part of liveable cities.

How to handle all these expectations in centuries-old port facilities? How to develop trendsetting new ports or rather port extensions in existing areas? What role play international regulations for port infrastructures? A short overview about necessary challenges from international port management.

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