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Ministry and sea ports move to expand shore power

Friday, 26 May 2023 | 00:00

The Ministry of Infrastructure is allocating €140 million over the next few years to help realise shore power plants in sea ports. A further €40 million will be added from the climate fund. By allowing moored vessels to ‘plug in’, polluting diesel generators on the ships do not have to run while noise pollution is also reduced.

Minister Mark Harbers (Infrastructure and Water Management) signed a letter of intent with the Branch Organisation for Seaports (BOZ) on Monday, setting out public-private agreements on the roll-out of shore-based power.

With the forthcoming Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR), European ports will be required to supply so-called AFIR vessels with shore power from 2030. These include container ships, cruise ships, passenger ships, and combined passenger and cargo ships from 5,000 GT (gross tonnage, indicating the size of a vessel). These are all large vessels, which also consume a lot of energy at the quay.

‘To meet the climate targets, it is essential that all sectors do their part, including the maritime sector,’ minister Mark Harbers said. ‘At the same time, this requires huge investments. I am glad that with this subsidy scheme, we can lend a helping hand to the sector and will further encourage the installation of shore power. This will not only result in environmental gains, but also to fewer noisy generators on vessels moored at the quay. It will hopefully also free up space for development in the ports as well as new climate projects.’

Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management and Branch Organisation for Seaports (BOZ) sign a letter of intent for the installation of shore power. With minister Mark Harbers second from left and Boudewijn Siemons next to him on the right as chairman of the BOZ

The funds for shore power are mainly intended for terminals where AFIR vessels moor, but other shore power projects for maritime shipping will also become eligible for subsidies.

‘BOZ commends the government’s commitment when it comes to shore power,’ said BOZ chairman Boudewijn Siemons. ‘Shore power offers many benefits to society, including the reduction of emissions from CO2, NOx, particulate matter and noise. However, this does not translate into a conclusive business case for terminals and shipping companies. With the proposed subsidy scheme, Infrastructure and Water Management and BOZ have established attractive framework conditions to install shore power now, ahead of the mandatory European introduction of shore power by 2030.’

BOZ previously calculated that some 270 megawatts of shore power capacity will need to be installed in ports for AFIR vessels in the coming years to meet the upcoming obligation, requiring an investment of more than €300 million. The sector organisation assumes this will lead to an annual reduction of over 220 kilotonnes of CO2 (equivalent to about 75,000 households being disconnected from the gas grid), and a reduction of 2.5 kilotonnes of NOx. When shore power is also offered to vessels that will not be covered by the obligation, the potential and environmental benefits become much higher still.

Realising shore power facilities will not only bring environmental benefits and reduce noise pollution, but it may also create nitrogen space for climate projects in the port.

The 5 major sea ports of national importance are working with the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management and the terminals on the shore power task in the respective ports. These are the ports of Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Groningen, Moerdijk and North Sea Port (Vlissingen, Terneuzen and Ghent).
Source: Port of Rotterdam

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