NWSA Announces Port Decarbonization Partnership with Busan Port Authority

Port of Seattle Commissioner Sam Cho, third from left, along with former Secretary of State John Kerry (middle) and others at the 27th Conference of the Parties (COP 27) in Egypt in early November. Photo: Northwest Seaport Alliance.

The Northwest Seaport Alliance, the marine cargo partnership between the Port of Tacoma and the Port of Seattle, on Nov. 7 announced a partnership with the Republic of Korea, the Busan Port Authority, and the United States Government to study the feasibility of creating a green cargo shipping corridor between the Seaport Alliance and the Busan Port Authority’s cargo gateways.

The Green Shipping Challenge is a new initiative by the U.S. and Norway to highlight global actions and concrete steps being taken to decarbonize the international shipping industry. As part of this launch, the U.S. State Department invited the Seaport Alliance to partner on a feasibility study of a potential green corridor between Seattle-Tacoma and Busan, South Korea.

Over the next year, the study would include experts from three U.S. national labs, the Maersk McKinney Moller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping, and staff from the two cargo gateways exploring the creation this green corridor, including potential sources of alternative ship fuels, and existing and potential future fueling infrastructure.

Port of Seattle Commissioner Sam Cho traveled to the 27th Conference of the Parties (COP 27) in Egypt to announce the NWSA’s participation in the Green Shipping Challenge Announcement and advocate for further decarbonization efforts across the maritime industry.

Seattle Port Commissioner Hamdi Mohamed joined the second half of the conference to continue these efforts and discuss the green corridor in greater detail.

“It was an honor to announce the NWSA’s participation in the Green Shipping Challenge alongside world leaders,” Cho said. “Ports operate in a global network and partnerships, such as the one between The Northwest Seaport Alliance and the Busan Port Authority, will be critical to driving decarbonization efforts across the globe.”

Other world leaders in attendance at the Green Shipping Challenge Initiative launch included the Prime Ministers of Norway, Spain and Special Climate Envoys from South Korea, France, United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands, Canada, and Singapore among others.

The Port of Seattle, Port of Tacoma and the NWSA have made voluntary commitments to reduce maritime emissions to zero by 2050 or sooner as part of The Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy.

The three ports are actively investing in decarbonization efforts including adding shore power capability at all international container terminals, operating zero-emission cargo handling equipment, and transitioning the drayage fleet serving our north and south harbors to zero-emission trucks.

“The establishment of a green shipping corridor aligns well with our commitment to the Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy,” Seaport Alliance Managing Member Deanna Keller said. “We are well on our way to decarbonizing operations in our harbors and are excited about the partnership with the Busan Port Authority and the potential to reduce our emission impact globally.”