An international alliance of 45 companies, headed by the Port of Rotterdam Authority, has been awarded nearly €25 million in EU funding, to execute 10 pilot projects and demonstration projects on sustainable and smart logistics in port operations.
In the years ahead, the transport sector is expected to transition to clean powerm says the Port of Rotterdam, while at this moment several renewable fuels and energy carriers are being developed further.
Each of these has its own advantages and challenges, with one option seeming more suited to shipping, another to applications within the port or transport to destinations in the hinterland. Some links in the chain from production to consumption have already been tested; others have not
The consortium’s programme primarily focuses on those aspects in the use of new fuels and energy carriers that have not yet been tested in practice. This includes production, transport, storage, distribution (fuels) and charging (electric power).
Examples include the operation of an electric battery-powered locomotive that uses power from an overhead line for both motive power and for recharging its battery, allowing it to work in areas that lack an overhead line – marshalling yards, for instance. Other examples include bunkering ammonia as a transport fuel, or electrical power from shore for ships moored offshore to a mooring buoy.
The partners will also design and implement several digitalisation and automation solutions in the context of the energy transition. In addition, they will be exploring how best to encourage companies to raise the sustainability of their logistics processes.
Moreovery, one of the consortium’s outputs involves the development of a master plan that sets out how transport in, to and from the ports can be made carbon-free by 2050 and what needs to be done in this context before 2030 and 2040.
The research project will run for five years. Close to €25 million has now been awarded as a research grant to the 45-member consortium. The results of the various pilot projects and studies will be shared with other European ports, knowledge institutes and companies.