Antwerp Euroterminal set to roll out first shore power connection for seagoing vessels

Antwerp Euroterminal (AET) – Europe's largest multipurpose terminal and one of more than 20 terminals owned by the Grimaldi Group – will install the first shore power connection for seagoing vessels. The system, built according to international ISO standards and operational in 2026, will be the first of its kind in Belgium.

Shore power provides docked vessels with clean, quiet and eco-friendly electricity and therefore plays an important role in the greening of ports. By connecting to the local electricity grid via a 'socket' on the quay, moored ships are able to reduce their emissions of CO2, nitrogen oxides, sulphur oxides and particulate matter, contributing to better local air quality and less environmental noise.  

Two fixed shore power connections with a total capacity of 5MW will be installed at AET primarily for the Grimaldi Group's car carriers and con-ro vessels. HOPaS (High voltage Onshore Power As a Service), a technology and service consortium comprising Techelec, Yuso and Whitewood, will handle the investment, installation and operation. Port of Antwerp-Bruges is acting as facilitator for the rollout of shore power at the terminal.

The commissioned projects entail an investment of between €25 and €30 million. In addition, the Flemish agency for innovation VLAIO has granted a €4 million subsidy. The plant – expected to be up and running by 2026 – will be designed for future-proof expansion, enabling additional vessels to connect.

The 100% green electricity will initially be produced by wind turbines installed and operated by Wind aan de Stroom. Extended capacity needs will be met by solar panels and extra wind turbines. The green energy produced will be stored in a large battery system to optimize the use of the electricity generated.

Shore power is an important part of the green transition of Port of Antwerp-Bruges. Numerous connection points for quayside electricity are already available for barges and tugs, and in Zeebrugge quayside electricity will be available for cruise ships from 2026. Port of Antwerp-Bruges is also committed to providing shore power for the largest container ships by 2028. 

“Shore power is a very efficient measure to reduce emissions and is essential for our sustainable ambitions as an international port,” explained Annick De Ridder, President of the Board of Directors of Port of Antwerp-Bruges, during the project presentation event held on 29 May at the AET premises. “This first shore power system for deep-sea vessels will be installed at the Antwerp Euroterminal and will be operational as of 2026. This project, which has been made possible through the generous support of a grant from Flanders Innovation & Entrepreneurship (VLAIO), is a fine example of how, as Flanders' number one economic engine, we are pioneering, innovating and working on the port of the future together with the industry. It’s also a good example of the role of facilitator we’ve assigned ourselves.”

During the event, Antwerp Euroterminal CEO Yves De Larivière underlined how the new plant fits perfectly into the sustainability strategy launched by the terminal some time ago: “We already have charging stations for our e-bikes and cars, and soon they’ll be available for trucks as well. Shore-to-ship power will be a great next step. This solution opens the door to a new dimension in AET and Grimaldi’s eco-friendly focus.”

The same focus was confirmed by Andrea D'Ambra, Manager of the Italian shipping group’s Energy Saving, R&D & Ship Design Department: “The Grimaldi Group is widely recognized as a pioneer in the decarbonization of the maritime sector. Indeed, we’re deeply focused on reducing the impact of our fleet’s emissions both at sea and in port,” he said. “It’s no secret that the ‘Zero Emission in Port’ project, which started back in 2018, has led to the installation of large battery packs on board a number of our ships with the aim of achieving the target of zero emissions, zero smoke and zero noise while at quayside, even where shore power is not available yet. Today, in addition to the 16 ships in operation and the 12 under construction all equipped with battery packs, we already have nine ships fitted for shore connection. Also, 38 vessels (including new buildings) will be equipped with AMP (Alternative Marine Power) and ready to connect by 2026. We’re therefore excited about this new project starting at AET, our largest terminal, which will allow our ships to use green energy during port stays and enable our Group to continue progressing towards the decarbonization of its activities.”