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30 June 2022 The on-line newspaper devoted to the world of transports 03:36 GMT+2



May 24, 2022

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ESPO and Interferry present a joint proposal for the reduction of ship emissions in ports focused on OPS systems

The two associations highlight the need to install them initially in ports with the most intense ferries, measured by a minimum number of airports for port terminals instead of port-port, rather than port-port.

The association of European ports and the association representing shipowners operating ferry fleets have agreed on a joint work programme with the aim of promoting the ecosustainable development of both sectors through installation and use in the ports of Onshore Power Supply (OPS) systems for the supply of power from the ground power grid to the vessels in the ports so that they can turn off the onboard engines and thus reduce emissions.

The programme agreed upon by the European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) and Interferry is focused on seven guidelines. The first calls for ferries to be recognised as a sustainable mode for passenger transport between cities and European regions, which ESPO and Interferry said should be better highlighted in transport policy. Europe and, in particular, in the "Faro 3 Initiative" ("Making more sustainable and healthy the interurban and urban mobility") of the European Commission's Communication "Strategy for Sustainable and Intelligent Mobility" of December 9, 2020.

The second point of the programme is that ports that are scaled up by ferries are given in the shortest possible time of OPS systems and that ferry companies are committed to always using these systems where they are available. Use of electrical energy from the ground network by ships that will not be not only aimed at the energy consumption on board ships during docking in port, but also for recharging the batteries used for the ship's propulsion system with the resulting increase in the demand for ground energy that will involve an upscaling of the network.

The document agreed upon by ESPO and Interferry therefore highlights the need for optimisation of the spread and use of OPS systems for the ferry sector, with investments that should initially be implemented where the installation of the OPS system will allow for a maximisation of emission reduction. Therefore, for the two associations, the installation of OPS systems in ferry-scaled terminals that recorded a high frequency of naval operations compared to the terminals where such activity is only occasional is prioritized. To this end, according to ESPO and Interferry, the proposals for the European Regulation AFIR (Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation) on alternative fuels infrastructure that refer to a specific minimum number of shelves per port, should be changed by providing for a minimum number of scallots per port terminal instead.

In addition, ESPO and Interferry believe that the exemptions to the OPS requirements under the European proposals FuelEU Maritime and AFIR should be aligned to ensure the effective dissemination and use of OPS, in consideration also of the request by the ports and the ferries industry of a coherent and predictable framework that offers legal certainty to the parties concerned.

The fifth point of the programme, in view of the substantial investments indispensable to make the maritime sector more eco-friendly, notes the need for economic resources from an EU emission trading system applied to the maritime sector or by any analogous market-based measures are intended for the financing of the deployment of OPS systems through a dedicated fund for the benefit of both ports and the maritime sector.

ESPO and Interferry also believe that it is necessary to encourage and promote the development of new fuels and new technologies that are useful to make the maritime industry more eco-friendly as well as the concomitant development of specific operating standards and security. According to the two associations, the financial and regulatory framework should be independent of the technological aspects in order to ensure that all viable options are taken into consideration.

Finally, for ESPO and Interferry, in the revision of the European DTE Directive on energy taxation, a total and permanent tax exemption for electricity supplied to ships at berths in ports should be introduced at the EU level at the end of the year. to incentivise the adoption and use of OPS systems.

Recalling the huge challenges that the maritime industry faces in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, with regulatory specifications forecasting a reduction of around 50% percent by 2030 to achieve zero emissions by the end of the year, it will be the first time in the world. 2050, the CEO of Interferry, Mike Corrigan, stressed that the electrification of naval propulsion is critical to achieving these goals. "The ferries are already a leader in the transition of the maritime sector towards hybrid and fully electric systems, but an important expansion of the electricity grid is absolutely crucial to achieving the final goals," he said.

Expressing satisfaction with the ongoing collaboration with Interferry on these issues, Isabelle Ryckbost, secretary-general of ESPO, said that "the role that transport through ferries can play in making transport more environmentally friendly" passengers in Europe is absolutely underrated. "The ferries connect people, regions and economies," he said.






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