Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Germany Mulls Onshore Power in Seaports

November 14, 2019

Ralf Nagel. Photo: German Shipowners’ Association

German federal government took a step to make onshore power in seaports more attractive; this week the environment ministers of the federal and state governments will be meeting in Hamburg to discuss onshore power initiatives in Germany.

Against this backdrop, the German Shipowners’ Association (Verband Deutscher Reeder, VDR) welcomes plans to provide ships with onshore power while on berth in German ports.

“We are united in our goal to further improve the climate and the air quality in the ports,” said Ralf Nagel, Chief Executive Officer of the Association: “Promoting the use of onshore power is a solid step in the right direction.”

The VDR takes the view that the supply of electricity from land-based sources in ports will in future become an increasingly important component among the various measures taken by shipping to make the transport of goods and people by sea even more environmentally and climate-friendly than it has been in the past.

The use of heavy fuel oil has long been banned in European ports; starting in January, the entire industry will be required to use only low-sulfur fuel, both while docked and at sea throughout the world.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is scheduled to meet in London this week to discuss further concrete measures designed to implement its ambitious CO2 reduction targets.

“When it comes to climate and environmental protection, shipping is on a more ambitious course than any other global industry,” said Nagel.

To date, the availability of onshore power has been the exception rather than the rule, with only just over 20 ports worldwide offering onshore power facilities. To use onshore power, most shipping companies would first need to retrofit their ships, which would require some effort as well as millions in investment.

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