Ports moving together to reduce ship emissions at berth

29 Jun 2021 09:14 Environment

Ports in the vicinity of inhabited areas and cities face similar environmental problems regarding
air quality and noise pollution. As a means of addressing these problems and in a manner that
complies with current climate objectives the ports of Antwerp, Bremerhaven, Hamburg, Haropa
Port and Rotterdam decided to join forces to tackle these environmental and climate
challenges. Today, the CEOs of these ports are announcing a Memorandum of Understanding
that will set out their common commitments with regard to Onshore Power Supply (OPS).
By jointly committing to enable maximal deployment of OPS for the large container segment
by 2028, these ports are moving forward proactively, thereby paving the way for other ports,
terminals and shipping segments to follow their example.

Whereas the signatory ports acknowledge the fact that OPS cannot be the solution for all
berths, vessel-types and sizes of vessel, OPS is a very suitable solution to reduce ship
emissions at berth. These emissions account for the major share of ship emissions while in
port, as ships burn bunker fuels in order to generate board side electricity at berth.
OPS is understood to refer to any technology that allows ships to change their power supply
from the vessel’s engines to shore-based electricity, with a preference for green electricity.
OPS can be provided by mobile and shore-bound infrastructure.

Considering the size and energy demand of ships, the deployment of OPS requires large
investments and requires technological challenges to be overcome. These mainly relate to
frequency conversion, grid connections and flexibility needs, which, together with a lack of
public funding, the uncertainty regarding the use of the installation and the price difference
between bunker fuels and electricity, constitute just a few of the many hurdles that are delaying
the uptake of this available and proven technology.

At the regional, national and international level initiatives have already started to identify how
to overcome (some of) these obstacles, among others in the context of the World Ports
Sustainability Program. In particular in the context of the World Port Climate Action Program
(WPCAP) ports decided to examine what they can undertake to make real progress and step
up efforts together.

Based on on the outcome of these exchanges and to overcome these hurdles, the ports of
Antwerp, Bremerhaven, Hamburg, Haropa Port and Rotterdam are calling for a coordinated
approach, in order to reduce capex costs through innovation and to provide clarity that will
stimulate the shipping sector to equip vessels, to make it possible for a vessel to make use of
OPS in multiple ports and to create a level playing field for OPS usage in their respective ports.
Cooperation between ports can help to give market innovation the necessary push, but direct
project subsidies will also be needed to cover the funding gap of promising onshore power

For the ports of Antwerp, Bremerhaven, Hamburg, Haropa Port and Rotterdam, it is clear that
significant steps forward can be taken in the Ultra Large Container Segment (ULCV). As the
level of OPS-readiness is at its most advanced in the ULCV fleet and as the call frequency of
ULCV is high, the market acceptance of OPS and a business case for OPS usage and
(retro)fitting of ULCV can be ensured in the most effective way for this ship class. This also
correlates with the average berthing duration and high power demand of these ships, which
are currently generating the highest level of emissions at berth. The ports have therefore
agreed to focus on the container terminals that are handling this segment of vessels on a
regular basis, by equipping all of these berths by 2028.

Quotes CEO’s:
Jacques Vandermeiren, CEO Port of Antwerp: “We call upon policy makers, private and public
stakeholders to join our initiative and put in place the right framework to enable a step forward
in the deployment of OPS to the benefit of emission reductions in our ports and the further
greening of the shipping sector.”

Robert Howe, CEO Bremerhaven: “With the joint declaration of the major European container
ports on the North Range, we are getting a little closer to zero-emission shipping in line with
our greenports strategy. At port locations, it will be possible in the near future to supply ships
with shore power during their stay at considerable financial expense. We want these offers to
be used as widely as possible in the future. Without doubt shipping must also do its part in the
fight against climate change. To invest in emission-free drives that have an impact both at sea
and in ports is the best solution. Together with Haropa Port, Antwerp, Rotterdam and Hamburg,
we are sending therefore an important signal: for fair competition, for clean shipping and clean
supply chains, for maritime climate protection.”

Jens Meier, CEO Port of Hamburg: “Our Memorandum of Understanding is a great example
of how the biggest European ports take the initiative to make transportation more sustainable.
It is a first step towards a “Zero Emission at Berth” standard - more will follow. To succeed we
need the broad support of all stakeholders involved, especially our port cities, terminal
operators and the ship-owners.”

Stéphane Raison, CEO Haropa Port: “This initiative fits perfectly with our strategy and will be
completing our already ongoing projects on maritime cruise terminals in Le Havre and along
the Seine from Paris to Le Havre passing by Rouen for inland cruise and inland freight vessels.
It is our pleasure to tackle this crucial issue with our colleagues from the Northern Range in
order to accelerate the greening of ports and maritime transport.”

Allard Castelein, CEO Port of Rotterdam: “Rotterdam has already realized several shore power
projects. Our plan is to execute some ten more, bigger scale projects in the next few years and
then to scale up based on the experience we’ve gained. I support international cooperation in
this area, because it will help all of us to learn from one another, reduce costs, achieve
economies of scale, speed up the application of on shore power supply while maintaining an
equal playing field”.

Ports moving together to reduce ship emissions at berth

Press contact

Sinje Pangritz
Phone: +49 40 42 84 7-2301
E-mail: pressestelle@hpa.hamburg.de