ESPO applaud EU strategy on LNG but cool on cold ironing rulings

  • ESPO applaud EU’s efforts to develop LNG bunkering at core TEN-T ports but apposes stricter legislation for onshore power

The European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) has this week applauded the European Union (EU) for lending its support to the development of LNG bunkering infrastructure across the TEN-T network.

However, the organisation, commenting on a vote by the Transport Committee of the European Parliament on clean fuel strategy, was quick to question the strict legislation proposed for onshore power.

In a statement, ESPO said that it welcomes the outcome of the vote with regard to the deployment of a sufficient network of LNG refuelling points in the core TEN-T ports and the fact that it takes into account both the existing bunkering markets and the distances between ports.

However, ESPO “fails to understand” proposals for a strict obligation for core TEN-T ports to provide shore side electricity to vessels requiring more than 1 MWA in berths located within 3 kilometres of residential areas.

“European ports have been actively supporting this technology and exploring the possibility of providing shore side electricity in their berths,” said ESPO secretary general, Isabelle Ryckbost.

“This has in cases lead to successful implementation projects. However, in other cases port feasibility studies show a lack of significant environmental benefits and disproportionate high investment costs.”

“We are therefore convinced that any investment on shore side electricity needs to be justified through local feasibility studies and not imposed through a strict obligation.”

ESPO hopes to have the opportunity to further inform Parliament and Council about the concrete experience European ports have with shore side electricity, in order to find a solution that is workable, environmental and cost-effective.

A plenary vote on the Committee’s proposals is scheduled for February 2014.

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