The Antwerp Port Authority in Belgium has signed two agreements as part of its efforts to create the necessary conditions to supply onshore power for seagoing ships in the port.

The port has signed the agreements during the World Ports Sustainability Program event in Antwerp.

As part of the initial agreement, signatures have been obtained from the Port Authority and Alfaport-VOKA, which represents the private port community.

The names of the Port Authority along with five technical partners have been finalised under the second agreement, making the availability of their expertise to enable onshore power for seagoing vessels in the area.

The partners are Techelec, Schneider Electric, ABB, Actemium, and Siemens.

“By using onshore power this way, NOx, CO2 and particulates emissions can be minimised, benefiting local air quality.”

Antwerp Port Authority CEO Jacques Vandermeiren said: “Barges have been able to make use of onshore power in the Antwerp port area for some time now.

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“Our own fleet of service vessels has been using onshore power since the beginning of this year. But currently, there are still not enough facilities for seagoing ships. This is a pity, as onshore power can make a significant contribution to the sustainability transition planned for our port platform.”

With onshore power, ships can be moored in the port to shut down their engines and instead draw power from the electricity grid.

By using onshore power this way, NOx, CO2 and particulates emissions can be minimised, benefiting local air quality.

Alfaport-VOKA managing director Stephan Vanfraechem said: “As a platform from and for the private port sector, we want to bring terminal operators, ship owners and ship’s agents together to find out how we can achieve an effective use of onshore power.”