The European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) is pleased to see that a preliminary agreement has been reached between co-legislators on the proposal for FuelEU Maritime. The agreement provides the shipping sector with a framework to accelerate their green transition through reduced emissions during navigation and at berth. The ambitious requirements for ships to reduce emissions starting in 2025 will help drive the uptake of alternative fuels in shipping, as well as help ensure the use of shore side electricity (SSE).
ESPO welcomes that the agreement on FuelEU Maritime introduces a requirement for ships to use shore side electricity at berth in TEN-T ports as well as in other ports which installed this infrastructure starting in 2030. For ports, it is important that this obligation to use is implemented and strictly enforced.
The obligation to use comes however with quite some exceptions that risks further delaying and limiting the use of the shore side electricity installations in ports. For ports, in line with the upcoming new Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR), 2030 will be the deadline for having shore side electricity infrastructure in place. It is to be expected that many ports will already have these installations operational years before that, without any guarantee of use. Ports therefore strongly hope for the engagement of shipping lines to use shore side electricity when available before 2030.
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“We are pleased that for the first time there is an agreement on the greening ambitions for shipping, both during navigation and at berth. We would like to congratulate the rapporteur and all negotiators on this agreement. The requirements for ships when to use of electricity at berth, will hopefully break the chicken and egg discussion. We hope however that the flexibility given to shipping lines to decide their own greening path, will also be mirrored in the upcoming agreement on AFIR. There is no time and no money to lose, for shipping lines nor for ports. Reducing emissions, fast and efficient, should be the main ambition. We hope the AFIR is also giving some flexibility to ports to prioritise investments in onshore power in ports where it makes the most sense”, says ESPO’s Secretary General Isabelle Ryckbost.
Europe’s ports furthermore favour the provisions in the agreement on compatibility between the shore side electricity on board ships with the installations in the port.
ESPO believes that coordination will be essential to boost the use of shore side electricity and to deliver real emission reductions. ESPO has consistently and successfully called for the introduction of a consultation mechanism for port stakeholders in FuelEU Maritime. Accordingly, Europe’s ports welcome that the preliminary agreement includes a provision requiring ships to inform the competent Member State of the port of call about their intention to use shore side electricity, and their power needs at berth. ESPO also sees a recognition of the risk of carbon and business leakage in the agreement, but remains critical about the effectiveness of the clause. ESPO finally asks that the penalty revenues resulting from failure to connect to shore side electricity must be used to finance the necessary investments in shore-side electricity.
ESPO will continue to work closely with EU policymakers and shipping lines in the implementation of FuelEU Maritime, helping to make the greening of shipping a reality.