Netherlands Commits to Financial Aid to Help Ports Install Shore Power

Netherlands shore power
The Netherlands' major ports will be eligible for support to install shore power capabilities (North Sea Ports file photo)

Published May 26, 2023 11:37 AM by The Maritime Executive

The Dutch government is committing to provide financial support for the country’s ports to adopt and expand the use of shore power. The initiative recognizes the significant investments necessary to meet the pending EU mandates that require the use of shore power as well as the goal to improve the environment around the country’s seaports.

By 2030, EU ports are required to have shore power available for ships greater than 5,000 gross tons covered by the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation. This will include containerships, cruise ships, passenger ships, and combined passenger and cargo ships. Government officials recognize that these large ships will require large amounts of power while on dock.

The consulting group Branche Organisatie Zeehavens (BOZ), formed to liaise between the ports and government, previously calculated that approximately 270 MW of shore power capacity will have to be installed in the ports for ships covered by AFIR. They estimate the required investment at approximately $325 million. BOZ chairman Boudewijn Siemons notes that the installation of shore power despite its environmental benefits does not translate into a sound business case for terminals and shipping companies.

The Netherlands’ Ministry of Infrastructure seeks to help with this challenge by committing to a public-private partnership with BOZ to allocate $150 million in the coming years to help realize shore power installations in seaports. In addition, another $43 million will be provided from the country’s climate fund.
“In order to achieve the climate goals, it is essential that all sectors make their contribution, including the maritime sector,” said Minister for Infrastructure and Water Management Mark Harbers. “At the same time, this requires huge investments. I am pleased that with this subsidy scheme we can offer the sector a helping hand and further stimulate the installation of shore power. This not only leads to environmental benefits but also to less noisy generators that run while a ship is berthed. And hopefully, there will be room for development in the ports and new climate projects.”

The project will focus primarily on the Netherlands’ five major seaports, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Groningen, Moerdijk, and North Sea Port (Vlissingen, Terneuzen, and Ghent). The resources for shore power are mainly intended for terminals where AFIR ships moor, but other shore power projects for maritime shipping will also be eligible for the subsidy.