Aiming to improve the sustainability of the shipping industry towards more environmentally-friendly practices, the Greek government is exploring to enter public-private partnerships (PPPs) to replace the country’s coastal shipping fleet with hybrid, LNG and electric alternatives, said Alternate Shipping Minister Nektarios Santorinios, speaking at the 1st Circular Economy Forum held in Athens, this week.
In this direction, Santorinios said the ministry together with the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping are already carrying out a study on the upgrade of Greece’s ferry fleet with hybrid, LNG and electric vessels.
The minister went on to note that this could be achieved through PPPs via long-term contracts for the servicing of remote island regions, as well as by tapping into subsidies for green upgrades and lending options.
“The circular economy should be a key objective for the development of island regions,” said Santorinios. “Greece has more than 6,000 islands and islets. Of these, 117 are inhabitable, while 79 have a population of more than 100,” he added.
Santorinios referred to priorities set with focus on the cyclical economy in the coming years which include the development of a strategic cyclical economy framework for each group of islands with common developmental characteristics; targeted measures for each island with focus on its unique development potential; ensuring energy and water self-sufficiency through pilot applications; applying new environmentally-friendly technologies to coastal shipping and upgrading port technologies; implementing the so-called “island or insularity clause” in all EU policies and funding programs; exploring ways to integrate and implement cyclical economy practices at ports in all stages of design, operation and development, as well as in each area or field of port activity; improving the institutional framework covering waste management systems.