Port of Rotterdam backs ZEMBA with incentive for sustainable shipping fuels

The Port of Rotterdam has announced a port fee reduction for ships that bunker sustainable fuels in Rotterdam, supporting the Zero Emissions Maritime Buyers Alliance (ZEMBA).

Courtesy of Port of Rotterdam

The Port of Rotterdam highlighted ZEMBA’s recent launch of a request for proposals for the transport of 600,000 twenty-foot containers (TEU) on ocean-going container vessels powered by zero-emissions fuels, noting that as a support, the Port now offers a port fee reduction for those large container vessels when bunkering sustainable fuels in Rotterdam, which can run up to €500.000 in total.

To qualify, a ship has to bunker alternative fuels in Rotterdam with at least a 90% reduction in greenhouse gases, such as green methanol or ammonia, the Port said, adding that the discount does not apply to bio-blended fuel oil, marine gas oil or marine diesel oil as that market is already mature in Rotterdam.

The Port of Rotterdam emphasized that it already extends discounts to more sustainable vessels that score high on the environmental ship index (ESI), adding that in 2022, it launched a ‘Green & Digital Corridor’ project together with the Maritime Port Authority of Singapore, which also offers discounts for carriers using sustainable fuels. This means that ships using sustainable fuels on the Singapore-Rotterdam trade lane can benefit from financial incentives from both ports as well as ZEMBA.

Boudewijn Siemons, COO and CEO of the Port of Rotterdam, commented on the announcement: “It is vital that the shipping industry makes the switch to zero-emission fuels. The ZEMBA consortium has launched a fantastic initiative with a willingness to pay carriers a premium for the use of zero-emission fuels, which are still more expensive than traditional fuels. With the additional support from our side, we want to give carriers maximum incentive to make this switch.”

To remind, ZEMBA was established in March 2023 by major companies Aspen Institute, Amazon, Patagonia and Tchibo to fast-track commercial deployment of zero-emissions shipping services.

As a non-profit organization and initiative of Cargo Owners for Zero Emissions Vessels (coZEV), the mission of ZEMBA is to enable companies to access zero-emission shipping solutions that are not currently available.

Through ZEMBA, freight buyers are expected to accelerate the commercial deployment of zero-emission shipping, enable economies of scale and help minimize maritime emissions.