Fincantieri and Enel to Develop Electric-Powered Port Infrastructure

Fincantieri electric port infrastucture
Italy's Port of Genoa (file photo)

Published Mar 24, 2021 5:05 PM by The Maritime Executive

Fincantieri and the Italian energy technology company Enel X will work together to build and deploy new technologies to support improving the environmental performance and operations to port infrastructure with electricity-powered solutions for ground logistics services. The move comes as the Italian shipbuilder seeks new growth business and opportunities to expand its infrastructure and non-shipbuilding revenues.

The collaboration between Enel X and Fincantieri will seek to accelerate the implementation of electricity-based solutions and decarbonization at ports. In its first stage of the effort will be dedicated to projects with a national scope and specifically targeting providing a shoreside power source known as cold ironing for docked ships. They will also focus on the management and optimization of energy exchanges in the new infrastructure, electricity storage, and production systems that use renewable sources and fuel cells.

“Ninety percent of Europe's ports are located in metropolitan areas, and public opinion in many cities has decried the pollution, noise, and vibrations caused by the engines of docked ships,” said Eliano Russo, Head of e-Industries at Enel X. “Development of cold ironing infrastructure will prevent this, as docked ships will have an electrical connection onshore. Today, digitalization, sustainability, and innovation allow us to offer smart, efficient technologies that will reboot Europe's port and maritime sectors."

It is estimated that CO2 emissions from the maritime sector amount to 940 million tons every year, or 2.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions the companies said. With pending EU regulations and the overall drive to reduce ports’ environmental impact, the companies believe a growing number of ports and docks in Italy, and subsequently in other European countries, will offer cold ironing. They believe that their collaboration will lead to the creation of a far-reaching European cold ironing network.

“Developing smart, integrated infrastructures and safeguarding the region would catapult the national port system to a new level characterized by sustainability principles,” says Laura Luigia Martini, CEO Business Advisor and Executive Vice President of Corporate Business Development for Fincantieri. “Through the agreements with Enel X, we will make our skillset available to a highly innovative program, laying the foundation for an authentically digital and green transition that will reverberate throughout Italy's maritime economy, and beyond.” 

The partnership will also ensure that initiatives rolled out in Italy can be replicated in other countries, such as Spain, Portugal, and Greece.