Port of Rotterdam plans extended shore power deployment

The port of Rotterdam and the city municipality have started studies to increase the electrical installations on land in its terminals.

The Rotterdam Port Authority and Rotterdam Municipality want onshore electricity to be available in the container, cruise and liquid bulk sectors, the port wrote in a statement.

Subsequently, studies began on the terminals of Hutchison Ports ECT Rotterdam (ECT), APMT2, Vopak and Cruiseport Rotterdam.

Before shore power can be installed in terminals, studies must be carried out, along with detailed analyzes of technical, environmental and social costs and benefits, tendering procedures and licensing procedures.

The studies will focus in particular on how the quayside electrical installations can be integrated into regular operations. The sizing of the installation itself, the space required on the quay and the further integration with the existing electrical network are important aspects that must be addressed.

If the studies stay on schedule, they should be completed in 2023, the port added.

In the next phase, a shore power supply is carried out at the designated locations in the Port of Rotterdam based on the results of the study.

READ: What is onshore electricity?

The results should reveal how onshore electricity can be deployed in the port of Rotterdam to reduce CO2 emissions and air pollution. Studies on the introduction of onshore electricity in the port’s new terminals are partly subsidized by the EU.

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

As soon as the shore power supply is in place, it will be used during several dozen vessel visits. This number will increase to hundreds of visits per year when more vessels are adapted to use electricity on land and more berths are fitted with a facility.

Rotterdam Port Authority CEO Allard Castelein commented: “The studies are in line with the Port Authority’s policy to work with businesses and the municipality on the port’s energy transition, in which power to quay plays a key role.

“The studies are important because the onshore power supply for maritime transport is a complex issue. This is in part due to the huge consumption of electricity and the fact that many seagoing vessels do not have the proper connections to use shore power. Shipping companies want to be sure that their ships can use shore power, also in other ports, before investing in the adaptations that this requires.

In this context, the port, along with other ports, including Antwerp, Bremen, Hamburg and Le Havre, is developing and planning onshore electrical installations. “This should speed up the application of the power supply ashore,” added the CEO.

During recent sustainability work, Rotterdam announced earlier this month that it is working with the McGowan government in Western Australia on the development of a hydrogen supply chain.


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