Dutch govt earmarks €180 million to advance shore power in seaports

The Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management intends to allocate a sum of €140 million towards supporting the implementation of shore power installations within seaports. Additionally, an extra €40 million will be contributed from the climate fund, the ministry said.

Image credit: Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management.

Shore power, also known as cold ironing or alternative maritime power (AMP), refers to the practice of providing electrical power to ships while they are docked at a port, instead of relying on their onboard engines or generators. This power is typically sourced from the local electrical grid or renewable energy sources.

On Monday, Mark Harbers, Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management, signed a letter of intent with the Branche Organisatie Zeehavens (BOZ), a branch organisation for seaports, in which the public-private agreements on the roll-out of shore power are laid down.

With the upcoming Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR), European ports will be obliged from 2030 to provide so-called AFIR ships with shore power. These are container ships, cruise ships, passenger ships and combined passenger and cargo ships from 5000 GT. These are all large ships, which also use a lot of energy at the quay.

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The resources for shore power are mainly intended for terminals where AFIR ships moor, but other shore power projects for maritime shipping will also be eligible for subsidy, the ministry said..

The BOZ has previously calculated that some 270 megawatts of shore power capacity will have to be installed in the ports for the AFIR ships in the coming years in order to meet the upcoming regulation, with a required investment of more than 300 million euros. 

The sector organization assumes a CO2 reduction of more than 220 kilotons per year (equal to approximately 75,000 households moving away from gas) and a 2.5 kiloton NOX reduction.  The ministry anticipates that the utilization of shore power by ships that are not subject to the regulation would reap even greater environmental benefits. In addition to GHG reduction, shore power also contributes to noise pollution reduction.

The five major seaports of national importance, the ports of Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Groningen, Moerdijk, and North Sea Port (Vlissingen, Terneuzen, and Ghent), will work together with the ministry and the relevant terminals on the implementation of the shore power installations in the upcoming period.