The shore-based power units for inland waterway vessels are a first for Ghent. Two units have been installed at the Sifferdok’s inlet dock, and each charging point has four sockets which ships can plug into. These shore-based power units were commissioned on 1 March.
Two more shore-based power units will be installed in Terneuzen in March, at the recently renovated Beurtvaartkade. One will serve inland waterway vessels, and the other can also be used by river cruise ships. This means that by the end of the spring, North Sea Port will have 23 shore-based power units, which will offer 80 connection points.
The shore-side power available in Ghent and Terneuzen is 100% renewable. The feasibility of providing shore-side power in Vlissingen in the future is currently being investigated.
The shore-side power units enable inland waterway vessels to shut down their diesel engines and receive electricity from the shore instead. With this, the vessel is ensuring better air quality in the port and the surrounding areas, as well as reduction in CO2, dust emissions, and noise.
For inland waterway vessels to take shore-side power they have to register on a single website. This will allow them to take shore-side power from all the units between Terneuzen and Ghent.
Inland waterway shipping is very important for the North Sea Port. Namely, about 50% of the goods traffic between the port and the hinterland crosses the water in inland waterway vessels. For this reason, North Sea Port is attempting to make inland waterway shipping more sustainable and more user-friendly, and providing shore-based power is part of this project.
In addition, the North Sea Port has also joined CLINSH (Clean Inland Shipping). Partners from the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and the United Kingdom are cooperating to improve air quality in urban areas by cutting air emissions in inland waterway shipping.
North Sea Port invested 480,000 euros in the two shore-based power units in Ghent and the two in Terneuzen. For the units in Ghent, North Sea Port received European grants as part of CLINSH.