The Municipality of Rotterdam and the Port of Rotterdam Authority have joined forces in the rollout of shore-based power for sea-going vessels in Rotterdam.
By 2030, they want a significant share of sea-going vessels to ‘plug in’ once they have moored along one of the port’s quays. This will allow them to power down their diesel generators while berthed. “This is good news for local air quality and the vessels’ carbon footprint,” says Allard Castelein, CEO of the Port of Rotterdam Authority.
Over the next five years, the partners will initiate a series of projects that are intended to accelerate and scale up the initiative. Depending on the experiences gained in these projects, the municipality and the port authority may adapt their targets in this area in 2025.
“Shore-based power allows us to connect vessels to a clean source of power,” says Arno Bonte, Rotterdam’s vice mayor for sustainability, clean air and energy transition. “This prevents both air pollution and noise nuisance – which will improve conditions for local residents and for the surrounding nature areas. Our port will once again become a bit greener.”
“We will be setting up eight to ten shore-based power projects for a variety of sea-going vessel types,” says Castelein. “We will do this in partnership with companies in the port area and with the shipping companies that use our port. We will continually monitor the results of these projects to learn whether we can speed up the process or need to take a bit more time.”
Ships require electric power for a variety of processes on board, including lighting, running all manner of equipment, as well as keeping containers with food products at the right temperature, for example. This power generally comes from diesel generators, which release pollutants, carbon emissions and noise. In principle, you could also hook a vessel up to the power grid on shore while it is berthed. However, this does require the ship itself, the terminal quays and the power grid to be suited to this solution.
Over the past few years, virtually every public berth for inland shipping in Rotterdam has been fitted with a shore-based power point but inland vessels consume far less power than their sea-going counterparts.