Ferry Business - Autumn/Winter 2022

COMMENTARY 7 4 Power and people – ensuring the future success of ferries Interferry CEO Mike Corrigan outlines the key challenges being addressed by the global trade association in an intensive lobbying campaign and conference programme MIKE CORRIGAN A Canadian former energy industry executive, Mike Corrigan joined Interferry in 2017 after 14 years with BC Ferries – among the world’s largest ferry operators – where he was president and CEO from 2012. How can we attract and retain the highly skilled workforce that, more than ever before, is required to serve the fast-evolving ferry industry? And how do we ensure a long-term future for our industry and personnel in an age when environmental sustainability will become increasingly crucial to the viability and appeal of ferry travel? These issues have long been at the core of Interferry’s thinking but questions gathered pace in 2022 and prompted the ‘Power and People’ theme of our 46th annual conference, which will be held in Seattle, Washington, on 1-5 October. Challenging regulations for reducing greenhouse gas emissions demand that operators make interim cuts of around 50 per cent by 2030 and achieve net zero status by 2050. Fully electric or hybrid power systems have been clearly identified as the ship propulsion solutions to help our sector achieve such daunting targets. Ferry operators are leading pioneers in the transition to decarbonisation, but we can’t do it alone. The innovations being implemented onboard ships must be matched by massive expansion of the shoreside electricity grid. This will enable ferries to recharge their batteries for propulsion rather than merely for cold ironing consumption at berth, which is the level of provision at most existing facilities. As such, Interferry has launched a global lobbying campaign urging governments and port authorities to invest in onshore power supply (OPS) infrastructure, and we have already made significant progress. In May 2022, we agreed a joint programme to promote the provision and use of OPS with the European Sea Ports Organisation, CEO of Condor Ferries John Napton with Mike Corrigan during a panel at the 2021 Interferry conference in Santander, Spain