Rotterdam unveils ‘ambitious’ shore-based power strategy

By 2030, the Municipality of Rotterdam and the Port of Rotterdam Authority ‘want a significant share’ of sea-going vessels to connect to shore power once they have moored along one of the port’s quays.

Over the next five years, the partners will be initiating a series of projects that are intended to accelerate and scale up the adoption of shore-based power. Depending on the experiences gained in these projects, the Municipality and the Port Authority say they may adapt their targets in this area in 2025.

According to Arno Bonte, Rotterdam’s Vice Mayor for Sustainability, Clean Air and Energy Transition, the plan is a ‘major step forward’ for sustainability in the port.

‘Shore-based power allows us to connect vessels to a clean source of power. This prevents both air pollution and noise nuisance – which will improve conditions for local residents and for the surrounding nature areas,’ said Bonte. ‘Our port will once again become a bit greener.’

Allard Castelein, CEO of the Port of Rotterdam Authority, said the partners’ vision ‘combines ambition and pragmatism.’

Castelein said: ‘We will be setting up eight to ten shore-based power projects for a variety of sea-going vessel types. We will be doing this in partnership with companies in the port area and with the shipping companies that use our port. We will continually monitor the results of these projects to learn whether we can speed up the process or need to take a bit more time.’

According to the Port of Rotterdam, sea-going vessels moored along Rotterdam’s quays consume as much electric power as 250,000 to 300,000 households every year, releasing 600,000 tonnes of CO2 and 8,000 tonnes of nitrogen emissions in the process. The Port of Rotterdam says that by 2030, the shore-based strategy could result in carbon savings of approximately 200,000 tonnes per year.

The Port of Rotterdam noted that, over the past few years, ‘virtually every public berth’ for inland shipping in Rotterdam had been fitted with a shore-based power point, and highlighted Stena Line’s ferry at Hoek van Holland, which ‘has been using shore-based power for some time now’.

As reported last week, Eneco and the Port Authority are currently working on a shore-based facility near Rozenburg for Heerema’s offshore vessels, which regularly moor at this location.

In view of the variety of vessel types and mooring locations involved, the partners have based their shore-based strategy on three different pillars. The first pillar mainly centres on the quality of the surrounding social environment, ensuring that all public quays in built-up areas will ultimately be fitted with shore-based power points. The objective is for 90% of these connections to be used by ships calling on the port by 2030. In addition, Rotterdam is also examining opportunities to realise shore-based power along private quays near built-up areas.

The second pillar is characterised by ‘big steps forward wherever possible’. The objective is to construct new shore-based power capacity for ferries, Ro-Ro ships, offshore vessels and cruise liners, which should once again have a utilisation rate of 90% by 2030. In the case of container vessels, the ambition has been set at a 50% adoption of shore-based power by large vessels (10,000+ twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU)) as of 2030. The third pillar focuses on the development of innovations for special vessel categories such as liquid bulk carriers, which are difficult to accommodate with the existing shore-based power facilities.

According to the project partners, in the years ahead, the aim is to realise eight to ten concrete shore-based projects, which will be divided between the programme’s three main pillars.

The programme is expected to require a total investment of €125 million – the majority of which will be contributed by the Municipality and the Port Authority. Around €50 million will need to be covered by public funding, say the project partners.

Rhys Berry

Rhys Berry

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