French port invests €20m in shoreside power

Port of Marseille Fos Marseille Fos aims to become the Mediterranean’s first 100% electric port by 2025. Image: Port of Marseille Fos
Industry Database

A French port authority aims to cut emissions by spending €20m over the next six years to extend shoreside power.

The Marseille Fos Port Authority will extend shoreside electrical connections (cold ironing) for berthed vessels to every ferry, cruise ship and repair quay within the Marseille eastern harbour. Already available on the Corsica ferry quays, the network will be expanded in two phases to cover North Africa ferry quays and the ship repair hub by 2022 and the cruise terminal between 2022 and 2025.

Marseille Fos CEO Hervé Martel commented: “We are convinced that ecological transition is the springboard to economic growth.  That’s why we are investing heavily to become the Mediterranean’s first 100% electric port by 2025.”

A techno-economic study is currently being carried out into the electrification of quays at La Goulette, the port of Tunis.  Such provision in Tunis as well as Marseille is seen as crucial in encouraging the two ferry operators on the route between the ports to equip their ships for shoreside power.

Multi-strand approach

Amongst its steps to reduce ship emissions, Marseille Fos has introduced speed restrictions of 10 knots in the port approaches and 8 knots within the harbours. It has also been offering air emissions incentives since it joined the World Ports Climate Initiative and adopted the Environmental Ship Index (ESI) in 2017.

Under Marseille’s Smart Port Challenge, the Marseille Fos port authority chose Searoutes to develop an eco-calculator prototype for measuring the environmental impact of shipments throughout the supply chain.

The Shift by Searoutes tool allows shippers to calculate and compare greenhouse gas emissions in relation to routing options, weather forecasts, ship characteristics and intermodal road, rail or river links.  Marseille Fos expects the transparency and reliability of the calculations to confirm the value of its inland connections.

A three-year research programme involving the Marseille Fos port authority and 12 partners has also confirmed the commercial potential of recycling untreated industrial CO2 emissions via a new seaweed-based biological process to produce biomass energy.

The port authority is now leading discussions to launch the last stage of the Vasco2 project, which aims to demonstrate the viability of the process on an industrial scale.

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