ESPO and Interferry to join forces on sustainable priorities

The programme will promote the provision and use of onshore power supply for ferries in Europe

ESPO and Interferry to join forces on sustainable priorities


European Sea Ports Organisation’s Isabelle Ryckbost and Interferry’s Mike Corrigan agree to promote onshore power supply for European ferries

By Alice Chambers |

European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) and Interferry have agreed to develop a joint programme to promote an environmentally sustainable future for the European ferry business through the provision and use of onshore power supply (OPS).

The joint approach underlines the organisations’ shared challenges and the priorities of their Europe-wide members. They include:

  • Ferries being recognised as a sustainable passenger transport mode, as well as a green mode of urban transport.
  • Ferry ports acting as soon as possible to deploy OPS and ferry lines committing to using it whenever it is available. This includes ferries using OPS to recharge batteries for propulsion.
  • Optimising the effective deployment and use of OPS in the ferry industry, where first priority for OPS development should be given to ferry terminals with high frequency of operation.
  • Aligning previous exemptions to the OPS requirements under FuelEU Maritime and AFIR, which will ensure the effective deployment and use of OPS.
  • Encouraging revenues from a maritime European Union (EU) Emissions Trading System, to go towards funding OPS deployment.
  • Encouraging and promoting new fuels and technologies for sustainable shipping, alongside the development of relevant safety and operational standards.
  • Introducing an EU-wide permanent and total tax exemption for electricity provided to ships at berth, in order to provide stronger incentives that promote the uptake and use of OPS.

“Electrification of ship propulsion is key to meeting massive regulatory challenges for reducing maritime greenhouse gas emissions – interim cuts of some 50 per cent are due by 2030, leading to net zero status by 2050,” said Mike Corrigan, CEO of Interferry. “Ferries are already leading the shipping industry’s transition to hybrid and fully electric systems, but major expansion of the electricity grid network is absolutely crucial to supporting the ultimate objectives.

“To this end, Interferry has embarked on a schedule of meetings with senior decision makers from governments, ports and energy companies to urge investment in OPS infrastructure. I very much value our collaboration with ESPO to work on mutual sustainability ambitions.” 

Isabelle Ryckbost, general secretary at ESPO, said: “I am very happy we started this dialogue a few months ago with Interferry and can now engage together on an efficient way to reduce emissions at berth. Moreover, the role ferry transport can play in greening passenger transport in Europe is severely underestimated. Ferries are connecting people, regions and economies. I’m happy to continue the discussions with Interferry.” 

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