Reducing the environmental impact of ports 

In order to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions from ships, quayside electrical supplies are a greener solution that will become the norm by 2030.

While docked, ships usually generate electricity using their auxiliary engines, which typically run on diesel fuel. This is not only noisy and smelly, but also produces significant greenhouse gas emissions. Given that 74 percent of European imports and exports are transported by sea, the environmental impact of this practice is considerable.  

To address this problem, quayside electrical connections are one solution that helps reduce the pollution and noise nuisance caused by the diesel engines on board berthed ships. Actemium Emirates Projects won a related call for tenders from the UAE’s oil company to fit out the Mussafah logistics hub and Ruwais industrial port near Abu Dhabi. Since November 2022, these two sites have each offered a dozen installations providing quayside electrical connections for a total of 64 ships. Once connected to the land-based network, vessels can stop their engines but carry on with their usual in-port activities: loading, unloading, lighting, climate control, computer use, etc. 

VINCI Energies has been developing OPS (onshore power supply) solutions in numerous European countries for 10 years. In 2000, the Port of Gothenburg was the first to offer onshore power supply to ships. By the end of 2023, the Swedish port will have achieved another world first by also allowing oil tankers to make electrical connections in ATEX zones. This is a challenge given the constraints related to the dangerous environments (due to their explosive potential) in ports that receive oil tankers.  

In Spain, 119,200 ships transited its ports in 2022, and the port authorities are actively engaged in quayside electrification projects. 

But undoubtedly one of Europe’s furthest advanced ports in this area is Rotterdam in the Netherlands. Europe’s largest port has already completed several onshore power supply projects and is planning to add between eight and ten new installations by 2025. In October 2022, as part of this project, Actemium Netherlands secured an EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) contract to implement an OPS solution at the DFDS terminal in Vlaardingen. With a capacity of 1.8 MW, enough to power almost 1,500 homes, the system will supply 3.5 GWh of electricity per year. This investment should make it possible to reduce annual CO2 emissions by around 2,100 tonnes. 

Thanks to the significant expertise acquired by Actemium’s international network, and its Swedish subsidiary in particular, in designing and building OPS systems, Actemium Netherlands hopes to extend this technology to other Dutch and Belgian ports, such as Amsterdam, Antwerp, Gand, Terneuzen and Vlissingen.