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Shore-based power in Rotterdam

11 May 2021
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The port of Rotterdam is working on the transition from fossil energy to sustainable energy. Shore-based power is an important aspect of this. Every year, some tens of thousands of vessels put in at the port of Rotterdam.

Moored at the quay, these vessels still use their generators for the energy required on board. The generators emit particulate matter, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide. Shore-based power makes reducing these emissions possible by providing a clean energy source for these vessels.

Shore power studies at terminals in the port of Rotterdam

In order to further introduce shore-side electricity in the port of Rotterdam, we are conducting 4 studies to prepare Onshore Power Supply systems (OPS). This is done at four major terminals in the port of Rotterdam; ECT (Amazonehaven), APMT2 (Amaliahaven), VOPAK (Botlek) and the Cruise terminal (Wilhelminakade).


Schipper is responsible for a team that deals with scaling up and accelerating the implementation of shore power in the port of Rotterdam. The implementation of shore power for inland vessels along the city quays is well under way. "But the really big steps will have to be taken in cooperation with the terminals and shipping companies."

Approach to shore-based power

The municipality of Rotterdam and the Port of Rotterdam Authority conduct a joint strategy and development programme to accelerate and scale up shore-based power for sea-going vessels, with the aim of having a high percentage of sea-going vessels plugged in at the quay by 2030. Diesel generators can then be switched off, which is favourable for air quality and carbon neutrality. In the next five years, the municipality and the port together with the companies in the port and the shipping companies will be working on accelerating and scaling up shore-based power. Depending on the experiences gained by these efforts, the targets can be adjusted in 2025.

Three pillars

Various sections of vessels already have the right configuration that makes the transition to shore-based power possible and scaling up of shore-based power easy. In other sections, however, this is more difficult, or connecting to shore-based power is not possible at all for technical reasons. Innovation and standardisation are therefore necessary for these sections. For the improvement of air quality, reduction of nitrogen deposition, and making shipping more sustainable, we opt for wide development based on three pillars:

  1. Focus on the living environment quality;
  2. Big steps forward where this is possible;
  3. Encouraging innovation and standardisation where this is required.
Cover strategy shore power

Shore-based power strategy

Download the joint strategy of the municipality of Rotterdam and the Port of Rotterdam Authority.

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‘Our vision is ambitious but also pragmatic. We are going to set up eight to ten shore-based power projects for various types of sea-going vessels. We do this in cooperation with the companies in the port and with the shipping companies. From what we learn from these projects, we will find out if we have to speed up or if we have to slow down.’
Allard Castelein, CEO, Havenbedrijf Rotterdam