The first shore power for seagoing vessels in Belgium, set to be operational at Antwerp Euroterminal in 2026, will play “important role” in greening ports

Antwerp Euroterminal has announced the installation of the first shore power connection for seagoing vessels in Belgium, providing docked vessels at the port with electricity in an environmentally friendly and quiet way.

The installation, built according to international ISO standards, is set to be operational in 2026 and will play an important role in the greening of ports, according to the Port of Antwerp-Bruges.

“Shore power allows moored ships to connect to the local electricity grid via a ‘socket’ on the quay,” the Authority revealed in a press release. “It reduces emissions of CO2, nitrogen oxides, sulphur oxides and particulate matter and contributes to better local air quality and less environmental noise. 

Antwerp Euroterminal

“Two fixed shore power connections will be installed at  Antwerp Euroterminal for car carriers and con-ro vessels. AET is Europe’s largest multipurpose terminal and one of 24 terminals of the Grimaldi Group. Although the European obligation to provide shore power for container vessels by 2030 does not apply to ro-ro and con-ro vessels, AET deliberately chooses to provide it anyway. This makes them the first terminal in the port of Antwerp-Bruges – and in Belgium – to provide a ‘future-proof’ fixed shore power installation for seagoing vessels, built beyond current EU regulations and directives.”

HOPaS (High voltage Onshore Power As a Service), a technology and service consortium comprising Techelec, Yuso and Whitewood, will reportedly handle the investment, installation and operation of the future onshore power solution at AET. 

“The installation foresees two shore connections with a total capacity of 5MW, primarily for Grimaldi’s new ro-ro vessels,” the press release continued. “The commissioned projects will carry a €25-€30m investment, to which the Flemish agency for innovation (VLAIO) granted a €4m subsidy. 

“The 100 per cent green electricity is initially produced by the three wind turbines installed on the terminal site and operated by Wind aan de Stroom. In addition, extra capacity will be produced by solar panels on the roof of the multilevel parking garage of the terminal and two extra windmill turbines planned to be installed on the terminal. The produced green energy will be stored in a large battery system to optimise the use of the generated electricity.”

Annick De Ridder, president of the board of directors of Port of Antwerp-Bruges, commented: “Shore power is a very efficient measure to reduce emissions and is essential for our sustainable ambitions as a world port.” 

Yves De Larivière, CEO of Antwerp Euroterminal, added: “We already have plugs for our e-bikes, cars and soon trucks. Plugging our vessels will be a great next step. This solution opens a door to a new dimension in the ecofriendly focus of AET and Grimaldi.” 

Andrea D’Ambra of Grimaldi Group said the company was excited about the new project, which she said would allow its ships to use green energy during port stays and “enable our group to continue progressing towards the decarbonisation of its activities”.