Belgian and Dutch Ports Join Together for Shore Power for Inland Ships

Dutch and Belgian ports join together for inland shipping shore power
Inland shore power station- courtesy Port of Rotterdam

Published Oct 19, 2020 7:27 PM by The Maritime Executive

Belgian and Dutch ports are working together on a plan to establish a single shore-based power system to support the inland shipping industry as well as river cruise ships. The goal is by working together to develop a user-friendly system that will provide moored vessels with power and support the sustainability goals of the region.

The Port of Rotterdam Authority, the Port of Amsterdam, North Sea Port Netherlands, Drechtsteden, the Port of Antwerp, and De Vlaamse Waterweg intend to work together to set up the new shore-based power system. They hope that other parties that offer shore-based power may also decide to join the new agreement and that it will lead to a standardization of the approach to supplying shore power to inland shipping.

Working on behalf of the partnership, the Port of Rotterdam Authority published a European call for bids, which will ultimately lead to the selection of a contractor for these services. According to the Port of Rotterdam, the tender is in line with the partners’ policy to pursue a balanced development of the various port areas in the Netherlands and Belgium. 

The goal of the partnership is not only to invest in economic development, but also in projects that improve local quality of life and the environment. They highlight that public authorities and private firms in the different ports have already been working together to promote transport by inland shipping and rail rather than over the roads.

By developing the power source, they believe they will be supporting the efforts to build the inland water system that reduces emissions from the trucks that would otherwise be carrying freight. Reducing the volumes of carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide and particulates released into the atmosphere is a high priority for the partners and a further motivation for the project. 

The partners have performed extensive research into the utilization of shore-based power for a range of different vessel types and locations. Shore-based power allows the vessels to use their on-board facilities without using their main engine or a diesel generator.

These common objectives have led to a joint approach geared towards supporting the development of shore-based power and making this facility as user-friendly and reliable as possible says the Rotterdam Port Authority.