ESPO celebrates first agreement on clean fuel strategy


Last week, negotiators for the European parliament and the European council reached an informal first reading agreement in regards to a European Clean Fuel Strategy.

If concluded by the parliamentary transport committee and plenary, the directive could still be adopted before the EU elections, and then finalised under the Greek presidency.

Two of the issues that directly address the maritime world are in regards to the supply of shoreside electricity and the provision of refuelling points for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).

According to the directive, member states must ensure that national policy frameworks address the need for all ports to be readily available to supply both inland waterway and ocean-travelling vessels, with shoreside electricity.

These shoreside conduits will first be supplied in ports that form part of the TEN-T Core Network and then in all other ports, by the 31st December 2025, unless there is no demand or the costs are disproportionate to the benefits.

Similarly, EU member state ports must ready themselves for the supply of LNG to both inland waterway and ocean-travelling ships by the date of 31st December 2025 by the very latest.

The agreement suggests that member states work together in order to ensure “adequate coverage of the network” for the supply of LNG.

ESPO secretary-general, Isabelle Ryckbost, was proud of to hear the announcement, saying “We would like to congratulate the negotiators for reaching this agreement. European ports and stakeholders now have a clear view of what is expected from them and can start or continue working towards that goal.”

“The obligations foreseen in this Directive imply quite some investments and planning for the port authorities and port industry. We are convinced that this Directive together with the funding opportunities that will be offered under the forthcoming TEN-T calls will enhance the use of cleaner fuels in maritime transport in a realistic way. We also believe that a lot of ports will not wait for 2025 to meet the obligations of this Directive.”

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