Port of Antwerp heads international consortium aiming to make European ports greener
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Port of Antwerp heads international consortium aiming to make European ports greener

Photo from Port of Antwerp

The Port of Antwerp will head a new international consortium with the goal of making Europe’s ports greener.

The consortium is called PIONEERS and involves 46 partners (including port companies, terminal operators, transporters and government agencies) working with a grant of €25 million from the European Horizon 2020 programme.

“This is an important milestone for the port of Antwerp and the whole port community, and also shows that we are on the right track with our ambitions,” said port alderman Annick De Ridder.

“We want to use this as a financial lever to strengthen the further greening and sustainability of the port platform and to position our port ultimately as the Green Port of Europe.”

Port of Antwerp has been involved in a number of initiatives to reduce its own carbon footprint, including switching to LED lighting and the introduction of new energy-efficient tugboats as part of ongoing efforts to greenify its entire fleet.

The PIONEERS consortium will work out concrete solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and will run for five years beginning at the end of 2021.

During that time, they’ll be examining all aspects of port operations: from terminal operations and concession agreements (through mobility, fuels and connectivity), to models for collaboration and the production, storage and consumption of energy.

They’ve proposed 19 ambitious projects in the areas of green energy production and supply, sustainable port design, modal shift, flow optimisation and digital transition.

Some of these projects include the generation of renewable energy and the introduction of vehicles that run on electricity, hydrogen and methanol; the adaptation of buildings and heating networks to achieve energy efficiency; a circular economy approach to infrastructure works; automation; and the roll-out of digital platforms to promote modal shift and optimise the movement of vehicles, vessels and containers.

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“Port of Antwerp aims to be the first world port to reconcile economy, people and climate,” said Jacques Vandermeiren, CEO Port of Antwerp.

“To be climate neutral by 2050, we need to take action now. PIONEERS demonstrates how Port of Antwerp, together with a broad network of stakeholders, is doing pioneering work to achieve our goal.”

Port of Antwerp will act as the pioneer port where most demonstration projects will take shape, with the goal of demonstrating what a real Green Port looks like.

The ports of Barcelona, Constanta and Venlo will take an active role as fellow ports to transfer solutions as much as possible to their environment and will be involved in applying the best practices of the project.