Introducing the Baltic Ports for Climate project
The Baltic Ports Organization presented the concept for its new project – Baltic Ports for Climate – during this year’s Greenport Congress & Cruise Conference. The event, held on 18-19 October, 2022, in Bruges, Belgium, focused on green solutions for sustainable ports in the next decade.
The project is an answer to legislation being part of two proposals included in the recently introduced Fit for 55 package, i.e. FuelEU Maritime and Alternative Fuels Infrastructure. The former relates directly to the fleet and requires vessels to use shore-side electricity or zero-emission technology while at berth, as per jurisdiction of a given Member State.
The direct obligation to deploy shore-side electricity supply (on on-shore power supply – OPS) infrastructure in ports is governed by the draft regulation on the development of Alternative Fuels Infrastructure, which repeals the Directive currently in force.
To sum it all up, as per the proposed regulation, OPS installations should be provided for container and passenger ships by 2030. Due to the high costs associated with these investments, careful analysis and planning are paramount in order to avoid the risk of stranded assets.
Baltic Ports for Climate, what is it all about?
The main idea behind the project is the further development and construction of OPS installations in ports located in the Baltic Sea Region (BSR), expanding the already existing OPS network and providing access to shore-side power for ro-pax, passenger, cruise and container vessels.
The project will be divided into four modules:
• planning of OPS in ports
• innovative solutions, e.g., energy generation in ports
• stakeholder platform
• project management & dissemination
"Due to the unique characteristics of ports, it is important to prioritize these projects in locations that make most sense, both from the environmental and business standpoints."
As already mentioned, careful planning is absolutely key when it comes to long-term, costly investments. Due to the unique characteristics of ports, it is important to prioritize these projects in locations that make most sense, both from the environmental and business standpoints. In-depth, expert studies will help to ensure maximum emission reduction and lessen the risk of wasted funding.
Bogdan Ołdakowski, BPO Secretary General, said, “This project initiative is a perfect example of regional approach and cooperation between ports when responding to climate-related challenges. We have received a number of positive responses from the Baltic ports. By working together, ports may not only optimize their resource deployment but also learn from each other and from other stakeholders, such as shipping lines or technology providers.”
Tapping into an existing experience pool will be incredibly beneficial to the planning period. The number of OPS installations in Baltic ports has tripled over the past few years, approaching 27 in 2022. A great deal of knowledge and experience is already there and will help to create standards and procedures benefiting successful implementation of the planned activities. The stakeholder platform will include port authorities, port operators and stakeholders, shipping lines, bunkering companies, energy provides and others.
"The number of OPS installations in Baltic ports has tripled over the past few years, approaching 27 in 2022. A great deal of knowledge and experience is already there and will help to create standards and procedures benefiting successful implementation (...)."
The aim of the project is to deliver the application to Connecting Europe Facility II (CEF II), with expected start for Transport Calls at the end of Q3 2022 and receive co-financing. Close cooperation with energy and technology partners will ensure the longevity and quality of proposed solutions.