Fostering a greener maritime future – together

A Portuguese delegation recently concluded a study trip to Norway, focusing on the maritime sector and port infrastructure. The Bilateral Initiative 'Modernisation of Ports', funded by the EEA Grants in Portugal, was organised in collaboration with the Directorate General for Maritime Policy (DGPM), the Norwegian Embassy in Lisbon and Innovation Norway.

The delegation, including Director Generals from Portuguese public entities and Ports Administration Board members, visited the ports of Oslo and Bergen, where they were introduced to a variety of modernisation and digitalisation solutions for ports and the maritime sector. In Oslo, the delegation saw demonstrations of innovative technologies, including an electric bus charging solution and onshore power supply for ferries and cruise ships. These initiatives underscore Norway's commitment to advancing green energy and reducing carbon emissions in port operations. 

The collaboration between Portugal and Norway is crucial for driving forward maritime innovation and sustainability. As two major seafaring nations, both Norway and Portugal will benefit from a greener and more sustainable maritime sector. Maria Varteressian, the Norwegian Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs  

Presentation by Port of Bergen during the study visit in Norway. Photo credit: EEA Grants Portugal. 

Visiting leading companies in Norway

Throughout the visit, the delegation engaged in several pitching sessions and exchanges of knowledge with Norwegian companies. These sessions included discussions on efficient energy solutions, digitalisation, and the electrification of ports. The interactions aimed to foster deeper bilateral cooperation and knowledge exchange between Portugal and Norway. "These sessions have been incredibly productive," noted Hanne Brusletto, the Norwegian Ambassador to Portugal.

The exchange of ideas and solutions between our countries is laying the groundwork for future collaborations. Hanne Brusletto, the Norwegian Ambassador to Portugal.  

The delegation had the opportunity to visit leading Norwegian companies, including Equinor, Corvus Energy and Wergeland Group. At Equinor, they learned about the Hywind Scotland project, the world's first floating wind farm, operational since 2017. This project highlights the significant potential of floating wind farms in contributing to global renewable energy solutions. Corvus Energy showcased their advancements in battery technology for ships, further emphasising Norway's leadership in green maritime transport. 

The delegation also visited Equinor's Operational Centre in Sandsli, from where the offshore wind farms are remotely controlled and monitored. 

This is Portuguese-Norwegian cooperation at its best, and it’s a great example of how we can use the EEA and Norway Grants to strengthen the bilateral cooperation between our countries.
Magnar Ødelien, Programme Director EEA and Norway Grants, Innovation Norway  

The National Focal Point of EEA Grants Portugal presented the main priorities of the current funding period, emphasising the importance of such initiatives in strengthening bilateral relations between Portugal and Norway. The delegation's interactions with Norwegian entities aimed to explore new avenues for cooperation and innovation in the maritime sector.

"Strengthening our bilateral relations through such initiatives is vital for our mutual growth and development," highlighted Maria Mineiro, Head of the EEA Grants Portugal. "We are committed to continuing our collaborative efforts with Norway to achieve our common goals", she added.  

Picture of the delegation with Maria Varteressian, the Norwegian Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. Photo credit: EEA Grants Portugal

With the knowledge and insights gained from this trip, the Portuguese delegation is eager to implement new strategies and technologies in their maritime practices back home. This visit not only paved the way for future collaborations but also strengthened the bonds between Portugal and Norway, showcasing the power of international cooperation in achieving common environmental and technological goals. "This mission exceeded the expectations of all partners, and in the end, there was an incredible sense of mission accomplishment. One of the primary purposes of the EEA Grants had been fulfilled: to bring stakeholders closer together, fostering collaborations that would boost the maritime sector in the areas of ports modernization, green energy, and digitalisation", said Marisa Lameiras da Silva, Director General for Maritime Policy in Portugal. 

"The results are already evident with new partnerships forming. This demonstrates that together, we will continue to move forward, embracing the challenges and opportunities of our blue economy for a sustainable, prosperous, and vibrant future", Marisa added.