The association of European ports ESPO has welcomed, although with some reservations, the agreement reached today between Parliament and Council of the EU on the FuelEU Maritime Regulation on promotion of low-carbon marine fuels in order to: Decarbonising maritime transport (
of 23 March
2023). In particular, the European Sea Ports Organisation welcomed the fact that the agreement introduces an obligation for ships, starting from 2030, to use the electricity supplied from the ground network while they are moored in the ports of the network trans-European TEN-T and other ports that have installed the infrastructure enabling this type of supply. ESPO has highlighted that "for ports it is important that this obligation of use is implemented and strictly enforced'.
The association of European ports has however manifested disappointment because the obligation of use by ships cold ironing systems on the docks to connect to the shore-side electricity grid provides for some exceptions which, according to ESPO, "risk delaying and further limiting the use of shore-side electrical installations in ports'. Recalling that "for ports, in line with the imminent new Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR), 2030 will be the deadline for implementation of the onshore electricity infrastructure' and noting that 'it is It is foreseeable that years before many ports will have these plants are operational, without any guarantee of use", ESPO stressed that, "therefore, ports trust strongly in the commitment of shipping companies to use Electricity from the ground when available before of 2030'. "Hopefully," said Isabelle Ryckbost, Secretary General of ESPO - that the requirements for ships relating to When to use electricity at berth clarify the issue. We hope, however, that the flexibility granted to shipping companies to decide their own route of greening is also reflected in the next agreement on AFIR. There is no time or money to lose, nor for shipping companies or ports. The reduction of emissions, fast and efficient, should be the ambition main. We hope - added Ryckbost - that AFIR offers also a certain flexibility to the ports in order to give the priority for investments in energy on land in ports in which makes more sense."
Among the contents of the preliminary agreement reached today appreciated by ESPO there is also the inclusion of a provision requiring the ship to inform the Member State of the port of call the intention to use electricity supplied by the land network and the energy needs of the ship at berth.
Regarding the concern expressed repeatedly by the association of European ports on the fact that the new rules for the decarbonisation of maritime transport can cause a relocation of maritime activities, ESPO, Noting that the Agreement recognizes the existence of this risk, however, expressed a critical opinion on the effectiveness of clause placed to prevent it.
ESPO finally requested that the proceeds generated by the penalties resulting from the failure of ships to connect to the electricity grid of land are used to finance the necessary investments in cold ironing systems.