HAROPA PORT Paris on The Way to A 100% Electric Fleet


With less than four months to go until the opening ceremony of the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games—which will, for the first time in history, take place on the water—HAROPA PORT and France’s national waterways authority (Voies navigables de France—VNF) have arrived at an initial overview of river transport decarbonization’s current status. The energy transition in the river fleet will ramp up even more in the months and years to come, given that most recreational craft will be running on electricity. The Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games offer a magnificent opportunity to exploit river transport’s key advantages to address ecological and societal issues, specifically through the roll-out of cleaner propulsion systems and quayside electrification, reports Sea News.

Roll-out of cleaner propulsion systems

An ambitious goal to accelerate the energy transition of the entire river fleet was set for 2024.

During the opening ceremony, almost 30 craft will be fitted with electric or hybrid ICE/electric propulsion systems. To achieve this target, VNF has devoted major effort, working with its partners (France’s Environmental and Energy Management Agency – ADEME – the Greater Paris Regional Authority and HAROPA PORT), to supporting the private sector using a Modernisation and Innovation Aid Programme (PAMI), whose overall budget has now been increased by €5 million from France’s central government.

The thirty or so craft selected for the opening ceremony of the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games come from the Paris fleet, which comprises a total of over a hundred commercial vessels.

To date, 20 engine retrofit projects and the construction of 11 new craft have already been implemented or are ongoing.

According to the Paris Ports Community (CPP), these projects represent an overall investment of over €38m: an average of €1.2m per vessel, or 120% of the base value.

Retrofits have been prioritized since they allow the existing fleet to be retained and lengthen vessel life, which has genuine ecological advantages rather than replacement with new construction.

River cruise boats account for 40% of retrofit projects (60% electric and 40% hybrid), small boats carrying less than 12 passengers represent 25%, and private and working boats 15%.

Where new construction is concerned, small craft accounts for a little over 82% of all projects, compared with 18% for private-sector boats (service provision, events, food catering, etc.). The core of this new fleet is electric, at 63%, compared with 27% hybrid and 9% running on hydrogen.

The goal is to see most Paris rivercraft powered by electricity at the 2037 horizon.

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Source: Sea News