The Port of Rotterdam Authority and the municipality of Rotterdam have commenced studies at various terminals at the port to introduce shore-based power to the container, cruise and liquid bulk sectors.

Hutchison Ports ECT Rotterdam (ECT), APM Terminals (APMT) Maasvlakte II, Vopack and Cruiseport Rotterdam terminals are all closely involved in the studies.

The findings should reveal how shore-based power can be rolled out in the Port of Rotterdam to reduce CO2 emissions and air pollution.

Allard Castelein, Port of Rotterdam CEO, said: “The studies are important because shore-based power for sea-going shipping is a complex matter. 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 Rotterdam Port Authority, together with other ports including those of Antwerp, Bremen, Hamburg and Le Havre, has begun developing and planning shore-based power facilities with the aim to speed up application.

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 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 and, in the next phase, shore-based power will be realised at the designated locations in the Port of Rotterdam on the basis of the study findings.

Once in place, shore-based power will be used at several dozens of vessel visits and 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.

Arno Bonte, alderman for sustainability, air quality and energy transition, said: “In the next few years, we want to give shore-based power a boost.

“Once sea-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.”

With shore-based power sea-going vessels can obtain sustainable power from the quay and, according to calculations made by the Rotterdam Port Authority, the demand of sea-going vessels in the port amounts to approximately 750-850GWh.

This is equivalent to the energy consumption of 250,000 households and so if vessels are ‘plugged in’ when berthed at the quay diesel generators can be switched off and therefore improve air quality and reduce CO2 emissions.

Before shore-based power can be installed at ECT, APMT Maasvlakte II, Vopak and the cruise terminal detailed technical, environmental and social costs and benefits analyses, tendering procedures, and permit procedures will need to be conducted in addition to the studies.

Inland shipping has been using shore-based power at the Port of Roterdam for over a decade on a larger scale.

In the port, the Stena Line terminal in Hoek van Holland has shore-based power and Heerema will commission a shore-based power installation at Landtong Rozenburg early next year for its offshore vessels.