Germany targets cleaner air in nation's port cities

THE German government is launching appropriate measures to promote shore-generated power in a move to provide cleaner air in the country's port cities

23 October 2019 - 19:00
THE German government is launching appropriate measures to promote shore-generated power in a move to provide cleaner air in the country's port cities.

'Instead of burning fossil fuels to generate shipboard electric power, in future vessels in port should be using renewable shore-based energy,' said German economic minister, Peter Altmaier.

He confirmed that the premiers of Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg and representatives of the state governments of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Lower Saxony and Bremen, inked an agreement in Kiel listing the conditions for use of shore-generated power to provide cleaner air in German port cities.

The minister said: 'We aim to make German port cities cleaner. With these measures, we are making a significant contribution towards cleaner air and a reduction of CO2 and noise in port cities along the North Sea and Baltic coasts. We are also giving ports and shipowners planning certainty for expanding facilities and refitting ships.

'As an exporting country, Germany depends on sea transport. More and more people are also discovering the sea aboard cruise ships. So, we attach great importance to the commercial viability and competitiveness of our ports and shipping.'

Premier Daniel Gunther of Schleswig-Holstein commented: 'The memorandum is an initial, important step towards improving the commercial viability of shore-based power. The paper includes the reduction of the EU levy to 20 per cent favoured by Schleswig-Holstein. By mid-2020 we should have initiated the essential legal steps. I am expecting rapid implementation of what we have agreed.'

'Extensive use of shore-generated power during lay times in port will make maritime logistics in general more climate-friendly,' said the First Mayor of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, Dr Peter Tschentscher.

Use of shore-based power derived from renewable energy sources can substantially reduce emissions from ships during lay times in German seaports. However, since the costs are too high compared to those for power supply from the conventional sources.

Among other things, the package of measures provides for rulings that make a start on reducing levies, as well as special network charges, for cruise liners, ferries and containerships.

'Compared to inland shipping, seagoing ships have to reckon with distinctly higher costs, since they consume considerably more electricity during longer port lay times. They can currently only secure a supply based on extremely unfavourable consumer profiles. At the same time, a programme of subsidies totalling EUR 140 million (US$155 million) should be in place from 2020 to assist states and ports in expanding essential port infrastructure,' according to a government statement.

Hamburg, Kiel and Rostock seaports are already planning far-reaching expansion. A shore power supply unit for ferry services entered service in Kiel in May. The measures announced should enable such units to be operated on a commercial basis.

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