North Sea Port, Port of Antwerp and the Flemish Waterways Authority have carried out a detailed survey, a so-called energy scan, of 26 inland waterway vessels to evaluate the energy and emissions savings by replacing traditional onboard diesel generators with shore-based power systems.

The partners in the survey, which was supported by the European Clean Inland Shipping (CLINSH) research project, see the results as an important step in decarbonising logistical flows and developing sustainable transport links from major seaports.

The survey data revealed that the energy savings differ with each type of vessel, and, on average, there was a four-year pay-back period on the investments in equipment and infrastructure.

The 26 ships surveyed had total energy savings of 1.9 GWh on an annual basis, with a corresponding reduction of 499 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

Annick De Ridder, Antwerp port alderman, said: “Inland shipping captains can buy 100% green electricity from the shore-based power stations of the Port of Antwerp, and these energy scans show that it pays off for them to convert their electrical installations onboard for this purpose.”

Copyright by Andrew Cox

Photo:  Erik AJV /