Rotterdam Container Terminal First in Europe to Invest in Shore Power

Rotterdam World Container Terminal
Container terminal which handles the highest capacity boxships is becoming the first in Europe to invest in shore power (Rotterdam World Terminal)

Published Mar 1, 2024 3:37 PM by The Maritime Executive

Rotterdam World Gateway, one of the largest container terminals in the Port of Rotterdam serving carriers including CMA CGM, Hapag-Lloyd, and Ocean Network Express (ONE), is set to become the first deep-sea terminal in Europe to invest in shore power. Starting in 2026, the terminal which currently has a capacity to handle two large vessels and more than 2.35 million TEU will begin transitioning to shore power for all vessel calls.

“The investment in shore-based power is a crucial part of RWG’s investment program, the aim of zero-emission storage and handling of containers,” said Ronald Lugthart, CEO of RWG. “Together with our clients and other stakeholders, we are creating possibilities to achieve this strategic goal in the near term using shore-based power and other facilities to support the energy transition.”

The terminal which includes DP World, CMA CGM, HMM, MOL, and the Port of Rotterdam Authority as its stakeholders, is already fully automated and operating CO2 neutral. European Union rules stipulate that all container, passenger, and cruise ships larger than 5,000 gross tons must use shore-based power by 2030 in European ports.

RWG’s first berths are expected to be equipped with shore-based power from 2026, putting it ahead of the EU requirement. In addition, the terminal is opting to design, finance, and build the shore-based power systems itself. 

“We are very pleased with RWG’s decision to invest as the first European deep-sea terminal operator in shore-based power,” said Boudewijn Siemons, CEO & Interim COO of the Port of Rotterdam Authority. “This represents a further contribution to greater sustainability of the supply chain that runs through Rotterdam for the clients we share in common.”

The Port of Rotterdam Authority and RWG have signed a letter of intent that includes agreements to share knowledge and data concerning the construction and use of shore-based power and the necessary civil engineering works to quay walls and fenders that this requires. The municipality of Rotterdam and the Port of Rotterdam Authority are also working together to accelerate and scale up shore-based power for sea-going vessels and anticipate together with enterprises in the port, as well as the shipping companies, a series of projects will be initiated over the coming years to accelerate and expand shore-based power.

Already able to handle the largest containerships in the world, RWG in June 2023 announced an expansion program. Working with the port authority, a third deep-sea berth will be added which they expect to be in commercial operation by 2026. The terminal also handles transshipment with inland vessels and has strong road and rail access.