Shore power specialist Cavotec will invest €20m (US$24m) in technology, engineering and business development in clean tech over the next five years, focusing on the electrification and automation of ports.
Its global team will grow by an estimated 320 people, an increase of 60%, with two thirds being engineers.
In recent years, Cavotec has equipped some 600 of the world’s container ships as well as hundreds of ports around the world with its shore power systems, although it believes this market is transitioning from a niche interest to the mainstream.
Mikael Norin, CEO of Cavotec, said: “We’re now at an inflection point where our core markets are undergoing a drastic change where what has been niche markets for clean tech are becoming mass markets.
“Our automated mooring technology has an equally untapped potential with an estimated 4,700 port berths world-wide suitable for automation to increase efficiency and reduce pollution.”
In Europe, more than 2,500 ports will have to drastically reduce emissions by offering shore power to visiting ships in the next five to ten years.
An EU directive, which will become binding for all European ports by 2025, encourages ports to adopt shore-to-ship electrification systems (shore power) to reduce emissions from vessels when in port.
Meanwhile, in the US, President Biden’s American Jobs Act plans to spend US$17bn on shipping infrastructure with a special mention of the need to mitigate the impact of pollution from ports.
Norin added: “Every day – in thousands of ports around the world – mega cargo ships moor, and then idle for hours – adding tons of pollution. And the mooring itself is a dangerous job, where employees face tremendous risks on a daily basis.
“Equally, the majority of the world’s mobile industrial equipment is powered by polluting diesel engines. Our mission is to change this. We will accelerate our focus on developing connection and electrification solutions to enable the decarbonisation of ports and industrial applications.”
Most recently, the company has developed an automated e-charging and mooring system for the world’s first zero-emission, autonomous battery powered fleet.
During the first quarter of the year, it received an order for the MoorMaster system from a customer in Japan, which Norin described as an important project, due to Japan’s reputation for quality consciousness.
In March, the Switzerland-based company announced its intention to divest its airports business, instead focusing on ports and maritime and industrial segments.
Between January and March, Cavotec’s non-airports businesses saw revenue climb 7.5% while operating profit jumped by 61% to €2.4m (US$2.9m).