FEPORT released a statement on the last day of March, in which it congratulates the institutional negotiators who have been able to reach an agreement on FuelEU and Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR).
Fit for 55” proposals concerning the maritime sector. It also highlighted than in order to achieve a successful rollout of shore-side electricity, different actors in the port/maritime ecosystem will need to collaborate and be aligned. Coordination will be needed with the electricity provider and with the shipping sector so that supply matches with demand.EPORT (Federation of European Private Port Operators) claimed that these two pieces of legislation are corner stones of the “
According to FEPORT, port authorities have a central role in the administration and management of port infrastructure, including alternative fuels. At the same time, terminal operators need to be closely involved in the process as the installations will occupy a significant amount of space on the quayside, hence affecting the terminals’ operations.
As the deployment of OPS (Onshore Power Supplies) is such a complex logistical puzzle, FEPORT reminds that it has always pleaded for OPS to be provided at those locations in the port (such as berths or terminals) where it makes the most environmental and economic sense and hopes that the implementation of AFIR will respect this principle.
Terminal operators have very limited impact on the effective use of shore power. The decision to invest or not in OPS should therefore remain a voluntary commercial decision based on expected return on investment, according to the Federation. FEPORT also added that it is crucial in this respect that the level playing field between ports is preserved thanks to a clear and harmonized legal framework regarding the responsibility for investments in OPS.
FEPORT reiterated that the implementation of AFIR should be consistent with existing pieces of EU legislation, especially article 2(5) of the Port Services Regulation as well as the 2023 amendment of the General Block Exemption Regulation.
The deployment of shore-side electricity implies huge investment costs and risks. Voluntary demand from shipping lines to use OPS prior to the deadline imposed by the new regulatory requirements will certainly contribute to limit faster air pollution emitted by ships in ports, the statement emphasizes.
In this respect, FEPORT expressed hope that the fact that FuelEU Maritime will finally allow for the use of OPS or another zero-emission technology will not lead to more uncertainty regarding the effective use of OPS by shipping companies.
The Federation explained that giving the possibility to shipping companies to adopt another “technology neutral” solution entails a more significant need for public funding, as private investors are deterred from taking financial risks to propose a service that might not be used by their customers.
FEPORT claimed that the revenues that will be raised via the implementation of FuelEU Maritime and the application of EU ETS to maritime shipping provide an excellent opportunity to mobilize public funding to support the rollout of shore-side electricity.
The EU Commission’s upcoming examination of the resource needs of the Connecting Europe Facility should also be carried out bearing in mind the need for public funding to support the rollout of alternative fuels infrastructure in ports, FEPORT noted.
FEPORT closed the statement by saying that such funding programs should also consider the technical needs of terminals and the costly adaptations of terminal superstructure that will be required for a successful rollout of OPS and clean fuels.