Photo: Port of Antwerp

Antwerp Port to sustainably grow box capacity with EU funds

The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), a European funding program, has announced that it will award €10.91 million ($12.8 million) in funding to the Port of Antwerp for a project to install extra container capacity.

As disclosed, the funding will be used for the port’s Extra Container Capacity Antwerp (ECA) project, which aims to increase the number of goods being transported by barge and rail in order to reduce emissions, while addressing current container traffic problems that the port is facing.

Furthermore, the funding will be used for financing the planned studies for sustainable solutions that take into account a balance between economy, environment and climate.

“The container segment has continued to grow, even during the challenging year we have just experienced. This therefore confirms the urgent need for additional capacity,” Jacques Vandermeiren, CEO of Port of Antwerp, said.

“However, the manner in which we create that additional capacity is at least as important. It must be achieved in a sustainable way that respects the climate and the environment, so that is why we are fully engaged in realising a more carefully designed project.”

Specifically, the project involves designing and creating the “dock of the future,” with hyper-efficient terminals that have a low carbon footprint, reduced emissions from ships, and stricter regulations on everything from shore power to construction techniques.

Emissions from ships and from terminals in the port will be kept to a minimum by means of low-emission handling technologies, shore-based power, circular construction techniques and stricter regulations, according to the port.

In terms of logistics, the Port of Antwerp said the ECA project will in turn act as the lever that will enable transportation to become more environmentally friendly through the use of rail and inland navigation.

I created the project in response to Europe’s ambitions under the “Green Deal” and the Flemish mobility policy.

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