Antwerp Port Takes Step Toward Onshore Power for Ships

Belgium’s Antwerp Port Authority is looking to create the necessary conditions to supply onshore power for seagoing ships in the port.

The authority signed two agreements, one with the representative of the private port community, Alfaport-VOKA, and the other with five technical partners, namely, Techelec, Schneider Electric, ABB, Actemium and Siemens, to enable onshore power for vessels in the port area to be realized in the short term.

The deals were signed during the World Ports Sustainability Program event in Antwerp on March 23.

Onshore power will enable ships moored in the port to shut down their engines and instead to draw power from the electricity grid, reducing NOx, CO2 and particulates emissions.

“Barges have been able to make use of onshore power in the Antwerp port area for some time now. And our own fleet of service vessels has been using onshore power since the beginning of this year,” Jacques Vandermeiren, Port Authority CEO, said.

However, he explained that there are still not enough facilities for seagoing ships currently. Vandermeiren added that the authority therefore sees the development of onshore power as a strategic priority for the next few years.

“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 roll out,” Stephan Vanfraechem, managing director of Alfaport-VOKA, said.