European Subsidy for Shore Power at Zeebrugge Cruise Terminal

April 10, 2024

(Photo: Port of Antwerp-Bruges)
(Photo: Port of Antwerp-Bruges)

Port of Antwerp-Bruges will receive a European grant of 3.2 million euros for a shore power installation for cruise ships in Zeebrugge. From 2026, cruise ships will be able to purchase green electricity when docked. It will be four years before this becomes mandatory across Europe.

The plans to build a shore power facility fit within the project call from the EU's Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Facility (AFIF) program as part of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF). The Port Authority submitted the project and, the EU announced 3.2 million euros in subsidies for the shore power installation.

Cruise ships consume a lot of energy while at the dock. Thanks to the shore power installation, cruise ships docking in Zeebrugge will be able to switch to green electricity from the high-voltage grid. This eliminates the need for them to generate their own electricity with diesel generators. That means no more emissions and also eliminates the noise from the running generators.

In the meantime, the process is underway for appointing a partner to build, maintain and operate the shore power system. Talks about that are in the final stages.

Dirk De Fauw, Vice-President of the Board of Directors of Port of Antwerp-Bruges, said, "With the Port of Antwerp-Bruges shore power installation at our cruise terminal, the impact of cruise ships on our environment will be very much reduced. We are ahead of the European regulations with this. This subsidy recognises Port of Antwerp-Bruges' efforts to accelerate the energy transition in the maritime sector.  We are taking the lead here with a shore power installation at the only terminal we operate ourselves."

Rob Smeets, Chief Operations Officer at Port of Antwerp-Bruge, said, "Port of Antwerp-Bruges makes significant efforts to accelerate the energy transition in the maritime sector. This shore power installation is certainly not our first step in this field. Similarly, more sustainable fuels such as methanol and LNG are available at our port for ships that can run on them."

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