Antwerp seals onshore power deal

Signing to make onshore power for seagoing vessels a reality at the Port of Antwerp. Image credit: Antwerp Port Authority Signing to make onshore power for seagoing vessels a reality at the Port of Antwerp. Image credit: Antwerp Port Authority

Antwerp Port Authority has signed an agreement with Siemens, ASEA Brown Boveri, Schneider Electric, Actemium and Techelec to provide for onshore power for seagoing vessels in the Port of Antwerp.

The deal was signed in March during the World Ports Sustainability Program (WPSP) event in Antwerp, with the port authority also signing an agreement with Alfaport-VOKA, the private port community representative whose backing is essential for the project to succeed.

Ships moored in the Port of Antwerp will be able to use onshore power to turn off their engines and draw power from the electrical grid, with Antwerp Port Authority claiming that using onshore power in this manner will lower nitrogen oxide, carbon dioxide and particulate emissions straight away, therefore benefitting local air quality.

Jacques Vandermeiren, Antwerp Port Authority chief executive, said that although barges had been able to use onshore power in the port for some time and the port’s own service vessel fleet had used onshore power since the start of 2018, there are still not enough facilities for seagoing vessels.

“This is a pity, as onshore power can make a significant contribution to the sustainability transition planned for our port platform,” Mr Vandermeiren said.

“We therefore see the development of onshore power as a strategic priority for the next few years.”

Alfaport-VOKA managing director Stephan Vanfraechem said: “Ships are increasingly being built with onshore power facilities, but their use in the ports is still very limited. At the various links in the chain, there are still operational, technical and economic questions.

“We want to discuss and solve this via this project and thus enable a successful rollout.”

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