Rotterdam to give a boost to shore power at port

The Port of Rotterdam Authority and the municipality of Rotterdam are exploring possibilities of installing more shore-based power at the port’s terminals to reduce CO2 emissions and air pollution.

As explained, the authorities want shore-based power to be available in the container, cruise, and liquid bulk sectors.

To this effect, studies have commenced at the terminals of Hutchison Ports ECT Rotterdam (ECT), APMT2, Vopak, and Cruiseport Rotterdam.

The study into the introduction of shore-based power in the port of Rotterdam is partly subsidised by the EU.

“The studies are in conformity with the policy of the Port Authority to work with businesses and the municipality on the energy transition of the port, in which shore-based power plays a key role. The studies are important because shore-based power for sea-going shipping is a complex matter,” Allard Castelein, Port of Rotterdam Authority CEO, commented.

“This is partly due to the huge electricity consumption and the fact that many sea-going vessels do not have the proper connections for using shore-based power. Shipping companies want to have certainty that their vessels can make use of shore-based power, also in other ports, before they invest in the adaptations this requires.”

“Within this framework, the Port Authority together with other ports, including those of Antwerp, Bremen, Hamburg, and Le Havre, is developing and planning shore-based power facilities. This should speed up the application of shore-based power,” Castelein added.

“In the next few years, we want to give shore-based power a boost,” Arno Bonte, Rotterdam’s alderman for Sustainability, Air Quality, and Energy Transition.

“Once sea-going vessels and cruise ships are ‘plugged in’ when berthed at the quay, polluting diesel generators can be switched off. This has major advantages for the environment. It leads to less air pollution and also contributes to achieving our climate targets.”

The study

With shore-based power, sea-going vessels can obtain sustainable power from the quay.

The Port Authority has calculated that the total energy demand, and therefore the consumption, of sea-going vessels in the port amounts to approximately 750-850GWh. This is equivalent to the energy consumption of 250,000 households.

This means there is much to be gained in terms of air quality, liveability, and the climate. If vessels are ‘plugged in’ when berthed at the quay, diesel generators can be switched off, which is good news for the air quality and the reduction of CO2 emissions.

Before shore-based power can be installed at ECT (Amazonehaven), APMT2 (Amaliahaven), Vopak (Botlek), and the cruise terminal (Wilhelminakade), studies have to be conducted, as well as detailed technical, environmental, and social costs and benefits analyses, tendering procedures, and permit procedures.

The studies will particularly focus on how shore-based power installations can be integrated with regular operations. Dimensioning of the installation itself, the space required on the quay, and the further integration with the existing electrical grid are important aspects that need to be dealt with.

If the studies remain on schedule, they should be completed in 2023. In the next phase, shore-based power is realised at the designated locations in the port of Rotterdam on the basis of the study findings.

As soon as shore-based power is in place, it will be used at several dozens of vessel visits. This number will increase to hundreds of visits per year when more vessels are adapted for the use of shore-based power and more berths are equipped with an installation.

Shore-based power in Rotterdam

For over a decade, inland shipping has been using shore-based power in the port on a large scale.

In the Port of Rotterdam, the Stena Line terminal in Hoek van Holland has shore-based power.

Heerema will commission a shore-based power installation at Landtong Rozenburg early next year for its offshore vessels.

In October 2020, Rotterdam embarked on an ambitious strategy for onshore power use. Together with the Municipality of Rotterdam, the port authority to realize 8 to 10 new shore power installations in the next five years to learn from them and then speed up the uptake of shore power in the second part of this decade.

Related Article

The strategy supports the port’s ultimate goal of becoming a zero-emission port in 2050, which is in line with the EU Green Deal.