Rotterdam Lays Out ‘Ambitious Goal’ for Shore-Based Power By 2030


  • Rotterdam port is aiming to see a significant share of sea-going vessels plug in to shore-based power by 2030.
  • Rotterdam Municipality and the Port of Rotterdam Authority will initiate a series of projects to accelerate and scale up the adoption of shore-based power, or cold ironing systems.
  • The shore-based strategy includes an objective for 90% of all public quays in built-up areas to be fitted with cold-ironing systems.
  • This programme is expected to require a total investment of some EUR125m ($147m) and the majority of this budget will be contributed by the companies involved.

The Port of Rotterdam Authority and the Muncipality of Rotterdam, have begun working together on the joint rollout of shore-based power for sea-going vessels in Rotterdam, reads their press release.

The partners will be initiating a series of projects over the next five years which are intended to accelerate and scale up the adoption of shore-based power.

Increasing the number of sea-going vessels

Allard Castelein, CEO of the Port of Rotterdam Authority, said: “Our vision combines ambition and pragmatism. We will be setting up eight to ten shore-based power projects for a variety of sea-going vessel types.”

We will be doing this in partnership with companies in the port area and with the shipping companies that use our port. We will continually monitor the results of these projects to learn whether we can speed up the process or need to take a bit more time,” he added.

By 2030, the two organisations aim to have a significant share of sea-going vessels to ‘plug in’ once they have moored along one of the port’s quays which will allow them to power down their diesel generators while berthed.

Depending on the experiences gained through the partner’s project, this goal may be adapted to 2025.

Three pillars of shore based strategy

In view of the variety of vessel types and mooring locations involved, the partners have based their shore-based strategy on three different pillars.

First pillar

The first mainly centres on the quality of the surrounding social environment and to ensure that all public quays in built-up areas will ultimately be fitted with shore-based power points with the aim for 90% of these connections to be used by ships calling on the port in 2030.

Second pillar

The second pillar is to construct new shore-based power capacity for ferries, roll-on roll-off (ro-ro) ships, offshore vessels and cruise liners to also have a utilisation rate of 90% by 2030.

In the case of container vessels, the aim is have a 50% adoption of shore-based power by large vessels of over 10,000 teu capacity by 2030.

Third pillar

Finally, the third pillar focuses on the development of innovations for special vessel categories such as liquid bulk carriers which are difficult to accommodate with the existing facilities.

The programme is expected to require a total investment of approximately €125m (US$147m), of which the majority will be contributed by the companies involved although €50m (US$59m) will need to be covered by public funding.

Arno Bronte, Rotterdam’s vice mayor for sustainability, clean air and energy transition, said: “Shore-based power allows us to connect vessels to a clean source of power. This presents both air pollution and noise nuisance – which will improve conditions for local residents and for the surrounding nature areas. Our port will once again become a bit greener.”

Cutting the ship emissions

Ships’ electric power generally comes from diesel generators which release pollutants, carbon emissions and noise.

In principle, a vessel could also be hooked up to the power grid on the shore while it is berthed however this requires the ship itself, the terminal quays and the power grid to be suited to this solution.

Carbon saving upto 200,000 tonnes 

Sea-going vessels moored along Rotterdam’s quays consume as much electric power as 150,000 to 300,000 households every year and, in the process, release various harmful emissions into the atmosphere.

This includes 600,000 tonnes of CO2 and 8,000 tonnes of nitrogen each year but, by 2030, Rotterdam’s shore-based strategy could result in carbon savings of approximately 200,000 tonnes a year.

Virtually every public berth for inland shipping in Rotterdam has been fitted with shore-based power points over the past few years, for example Stena Line’s ferry at Joek van Holland has been using shore-based power for some time now.

Eneco and the Port Authority are currently working on a shore-based power facility near Rozenburg for Heerema’s offshore vessels.

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Source: Port of Rotterdam


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