WestMED story annopuncement poster on Green shipping and marinehoumd with an image of a container ship

WestMED Success story: The drive for green shipping with MARINEHOUND as a leading project example

Around 80 percent of global trade is transported by commercial shipping, and intra-Mediterranean maritime trade-flows account for nearly 25% of global traffic volume

Greening maritime transport is amongst the top challenges for the Mediterranean region. This means a drastic reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, air and water pollution as well as accidents and marine spills, noise, and overall impacts on coastal and marine biodiversity.

Transition of the Maritime Transport sector as EU priority

The European Maritime Transport Environmental Report (2021) indicated that the EU maritime transport faces a crucial decade to transition to a more economically, socially and environmentally sustainable sector.  Efforts should therefore be focused on accelerating the market-readiness for zero-emission, via mobilisation of significant investments and infrastructures and promoting an uptake on innovative technologies and digitalisation of the sector.

Mediterranean-wide political support

The UfM Ministerial Declaration on the Sustainable Blue Economy (2021) also pays special attention to sustainable, climate-neutral and zero-pollution maritime transport and ports. It calls for strengthening expertise and boosting investments in infrastructure taking duly into account the specific needs and priorities of Mediterranean countries; and to actively cooperate and participate in the implementation of joint projects in the provision of clean energy and technology.

The recently adopted WestMED Minisisterial Declaration (June, 2023) highlights this need  towards carbon-neutrality and zero emission including ports as energy-hubs with efforts required from countries and industry help make this transition.

2.4 Million Euro in EC project funding to facilitate green shipping

In this context and in line with the WestMED’s priorities, the European Commission launched a regional flagship call in 2023 to promote sustainable transport and ports in the Mediterranean with a total funding of EUR 2.4 million. This call was part of the European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF)

The main objective was to reduce emissions by ports and ships and promote the transition towards carbon neutrality of the maritime transport sector in the Mediterranean, while ensuring synergies with the Horizon Europe Co-Programmed Partnership on Zero-Emission Waterborne Transport.

As a result of this call, four Mediterranean pilot projects were funded and launched in October 2023: GREEN MARINE MED, GreenMED, POWER4MED and CALLMEBLUE. 
Three of these projects received active assistance from the WestMED Assistance Mechanism in their application process for this funding and continue to be supported directly via the WestMED’s Technical Group on Green Shipping (see below). 

Practical WestMED  support

The Technical Group on Green shipping and Ports provides practical support to stakeholders in order to implement innovative projects to promote a greener and fully sustainable maritime transport in the Mediterranean. The priorities of this technical group include: 1) Assessing the emerging technologies and innovative models, 2) Networking of maritime ports as energy communities and 3) Boosting the adaptation of commercial vessels. 


A leading project example: meet MARINEHOUND! A sulphur sniffer system for a greener shipping industry

Marinehound project logo

There are many initiatives doing groundbreaking work to promote green shipping. One of these initiatives especially worthy of attention is Marinehound. It is a Maltese company that developed an innovative approach to tackle the problem of lax emissions compliance in the maritime industry.

In January 2020, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) launched a 0.50% m/m limit for sulphur in fuel oil used on board ships. The limit is even stricter for ships operating within designated emission control areas (ECAs), which must meet strict sulphur emission levels of 0.1%.

Monitoring and enforcement of the IMO 2020 sulphur limit ultimately falls to Governments and national authorities of Member States that are parties to MARPOL Annex VI. Furthermore, Flag States of vessels as well as port states also share a responsibility to ensure ship compliance.

Unfortunately, authorities still face many challenges and obstacles that are preventing the maritime industry from achieving full fuel emissions compliance. The large number of vessels entering ports combined with complex itineraries makes it virtually impossible for enforcement authorities to effectively patrol ships using manual operations.

In this context, Marinehound has created an innovative technology designed to be the ultimate solution to tackle all IMO 2020 enforcement issues.

A fully integrated and automated system can be deployed in ground stations in ports and in the open seas on autonomous oceanographic buoys deployed close to shipping lanes to patrol ships and ensure they comply with emissions limits.

Marinehound™ is a unique Continuous Emission Monitoring System (CEMS) to continuously monitor, analyse, and record emissions from ships.

Using novel and high performance gas analyser technology with parts-per-billion sensitivity, high selectivity, low-power operation and ability to work in maritime environments, our unique product provides autonomous and highly accurate monitoring of fuel pollutants and reports findings to regulatory authorities and inspectors.

In an interview with ‘LovinMalta/ Tech Heads,’ founder and CEO of Marinehound Nicholas Borg Calleja explains this system’s added value for port authorities:

“The problem is that they are currently using manual inspections. So you have to onboard a ship, take samples, take them to the laboratory – it takes a long time. They have restricted the number of inspections to 10%. So 90% are not being checked. It means that monitoring is very weak and there is room for abuse. What we offer is  24/7 autonomous system that is scanning and detecting emissions from the vessels… so we are making the job of authorities more effective and efficient.”


MarineHound was the winner of the WestMED Project Awards 2023 edition under the category ‘Biodiversity, marine habitat conservation and response to marine pollution.’



More info about MarineHound
Transport Malta
Malta Chamber of Commerce
Ports 4.0
MENA Maritime Accelerator
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