Photo: Illustration; Port of Antwerp

Port of Antwerp-led consortium aims to make European ports greener

An international consortium led by the Port of Antwerp will receive a €25 million grant from the European Horizon 2020 programme for an ambitious project that aims to make European ports greener.

As informed, the PIONEERS consortium of 46 partners representing ports, terminal- and transport operators, forwarders, knowledge institutes, technology developers, innovators and public entities will showcase concrete solutions reducing GHG emissions in ports while safeguarding their competitiveness.

Port of Antwerp
Image Courtesy: Port of Antwerp

The project has a timeframe of 5 years starting at the end of 2021.

It will be examining all aspects of port operations ranging from terminal operations, concession agreements, mobility, connectivity, fuels to models for cooperation and production, storage and use of energy.

The PIONEERS consortium proposed 19 ambitious projects in the field of clean energy production and supply, sustainable port design, modal shift and flows optimization, and digital transformation.

Specifically, the actions include renewable energy generation and deployment of electric, hydrogen and methanol vehicles; building and heating networks retrofit for energy efficiency; implementation of circular economy approaches in infrastructure works; automation; and deployment of digital platforms to promote modal shift and ensure optimised vehicle, vessel and container movements.

The Port of Antwerp will function as lighthouse port, hosting the majority of demonstrators and showcasing a real-life green port. The ports of Barcelona, Constanta and Venlo, as fellow ports, will play an active role in maximising the transferability of the solutions and are engaged to implement the best practices from the project.    

Committed to becoming a carbon neutral port in 2050, the Port of Antwerp is convinced that greening ports will only be possible through partnerships and active dialogue with a wide stakeholder network. The coming years will be crucial to get all stakeholders on board and roll out innovative solutions. PIONEERS is said to be the perfect opportunity to facilitate exactly this and ensure maximum transferability of innovations.

“Port of Antwerp aims to be the first world port that reconciles economy, people and climate. In order to be climate-neutral by 2050, we need to act now,” Jacques Vandermeiren, CEO Port of Antwerp, commented.

“This is an important milestone for Port of Antwerp and the entire port community which shows we are on the track with our ambitions. We want to use this financial leverage to strengthen the further greening and sustainability of the port platform and to position our port as the ultimate green port of Europe,” Annick De Ridder, vice mayor, said.

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