BIG's support towards decarbonization of major ports and container terminals

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BIG | Bjarke Ingels Group supports APM Terminals and Maersk in reimagining the future of the shipping industry with the green transformation of the Aqaba Port Terminal in Jordan by 2040. The project is the first step towards decarbonization of major ports and container terminals - and connecting shipping infrastructure to local communities.


Born out of APM Terminal’s ambition to optimize and decarbonize the port and surrounding logistics, BIG has developed a spatial framework for the green transformation of Aqaba Container Terminal – the gateway to the distribution network of Jordan, the Levant and beyond. The vision, with ESG principles at the core, merges different strategic approaches at regional scale, starting from the terminal refurbishment, expanding to the logistics functions in the immediate surroundings, and lastly, connecting to the wider port’s community and natural environment

“Aqaba is considered one of APM Terminals’ major strategic ports, and an important gateway to the Levant region and beyond. To reinforce our long-term commitment to Aqaba and to Jordan’s 2030 Economic Modernization Vision, we have developed a meticulous plan for enhancing Aqaba’s competitiveness both regionally and globally including a net zero emission target for 2040.”, Keith Svendsen, CEO, APM Terminals.

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Maritime infrastructure as a driver for economic, social and environmental sustainability

Historically, cities have developed around ports and been a social hub for transportation and trade. Today, however, most ports have been pushed to industrial zones on the periphery of urban developments in order to isolate the noise, dirt and the high safety standards that are biproducts of the maritime industry.


The framework for transforming Aqaba Container Terminal aims to bring life back to the port. This is done by decarbonizing its infrastructure, creating new synergies with local businesses and communities, and incorporating strategies for environmental restoration and nature-based solutions. Considering increasing safety and operational efficiency, which is core to APMT, BIG's planning approach connects social, economic and environmental strategies into a holistic vision, for the terminal and beyond.

story imageRendering by Ping-Pong Visualization

“Over the last decades, industries have driven economic growth, but also contributed to social inequalities and severe environmental impact. Aqaba Container Terminal is an example of how cleaner, quieter and safer infrastructure can create new forms of sustainable urban environments. As an urban planner and landscape architect the collaboration has been a unique chance to explore the hidden potential behind industrial sites and rethink infrastructure as a catalyst for urban, sustainable transformation. Developing this vision in collaboration with Maersk, APM Terminals and ACT has been an incredible opportunity to collaborate with industry leaders on the design and innovation of the global maritime infrastructure, which we all rely greatly on.”, Giulia Frittoli, Partner, BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group


In the future, ports can once again become the center of urban life and connect land and sea through growth and innovation. In parallel with neutralizing carbon emissions, the reduction of long distances between the yard, custom facilities, logistics and distribution hubs, will turn the terminal into an attractor of innovation, research, offices, and commercial facilities. Local communities can connect with industrial businesses through training centers, recreational spaces, and parks, transforming the grey parts of our cities into green hubs.

Decarbonizing Aqaba Container Terminal and expanding the port beyond its borders

Within the Aqaba Container Terminal, the framework incorporates solar installations and canopies, which allow for zero-emission port functions and reliance on fully electrified cranes, vehicles and charging stations. Yard refurbishments with state-of-the-art technology and sustainable pavement treatment provides efficient operations while creating comfortable spaces for workers.


By relocating the custom facility closer to the port, the clearance process is optimized and directly linked to nearby logistic facilities - an area where trade opportunities will be offered to the wider economy by connecting with local businesses. Bringing together agents and shippers will ensure faster goods distribution, while training and innovation centers develop Jordan’s next generation of logistics professionals.


"When Maersk and APM Terminals invited us to help reimagine container ports as hubs for green growth in the future, we were humbled, and extremely motivated. The past years, we have worked on a Plan for the Planet – a masterplan where we’ve attempted to plan pragmatically for a sustainable, human presence on Earth. This collaboration has allowed us to wander well beyond our normal territory and dive head-first into our passion for using architecture and planning to solve large-scale, complex challenges. For us, this framework is a huge step for sustainability and in rethinking our profession to work in the often-overlooked parts of our cities and activate them to play a crucial role in the urgent and necessary energy transformation of our society.”, Bjarke Ingels, Founder & Partner, BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group



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story imageRendering by Ping-Pong Visualization


Press release and rendering courtesy of BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group

    Aqaba Container Terminal 4

    Aqaba Container Terminal

    Aqaba / Jordan / 2040