Freight News, Sea

Ports and ferries draw up shore power plan

[ May 24, 2022   //   ]

The European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) and trade association Interferry have agreed a common work programme to promote the provision and use of onshore power supply (OPS) for the industry.

In their joint approach, ESPO and Interferry called for ferries to be recognised as a sustainable transport mode that link Europe’s cities and regions. They said that this should be better reflected in Europe’s transport policy.

The programme added that ferry ports should act as quickly as possible to deploy OPS, and ferry lines should commit to using it whenever it is available.  The agreement notes that, increasingly, many ferries will use OPS not only for their energy consumption at berth, but also to recharge batteries for propulsion – prompting significantly higher power demand that will require corresponding upscaling of the grid network. 

They added that investments should initially be made where it makes most sense in terms of maximising emissions reductions and first priority for OPS development should terminals with frequent services.

Since greening the shipping sector and deploying OPS in ports will require huge investments, revenues from a maritime European Union (EU) Emissions Trading System, or any similar market-based measure, should go towards funding OPS deployment through a dedicated fund benefitting both the ports and shipping sectors.

New fuels and technologies for greening the shipping industry should be encouraged and promoted. The financial and regulatory framework should be ‘technology-agnostic’ to ensure due consideration for all viable options.

The partners also want an EU-wide permanent and total tax exemption for electricity provided to ships at berth to be introduced in the Energy Taxation Directive to provide stronger incentives for uptake and use of OPS.

Interferry chief executive Mike Corrigan commented: “Electrification of ship propulsion is key to meeting massive regulatory challenges for reducing maritime greenhouse gas emissions – interim cuts of some 50% are due by 2030, leading to ‘net zero’ status by 2050. Ferries are already leading the shipping industry’s transition to hybrid and fully electric systems, but major expansion of the electricity grid network is absolutely crucial to supporting the ultimate objectives.”

ESPO secretary-general Isabelle Ryckbost said: “Ports in Europe are very eager to move forward in achieving the decarbonisation goals and progressing their green priorities. The greening of shipping is a priority for ports.”