Green InfraPort project receives the EU grant for the development and implementation in Baltic Sea region
The Green InfraPort project has been approved by the EUSBSR Seed Money Facility, receiving the EU grant for the development and implementation of its solutions for increase in sustainability of Baltic ports.
The backbone of the project is formed by a selection of environmentally conscious port activities, mainly the planning and development of port reception facilities for sewage from passenger ships and waste from scrubbers, energy management in ports and terminals and the need for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) bunkering infrastructure. The proposed initiative is in line with one of the main goals of the EU strategy for the Baltic Sea region, namely ”Clean and Safe Shipping”.
The seed money project Green InfraPort should be considered a preparation for coordinated action, enabling ports interested in cooperation to join forces and apply for EU funding from the Connecting Europe Facility or other available sources.
New environmental regulations and policies require the ports to adjust to the new legal framework by proper planning and investments. Obligatory delivery of sewage from passenger ships in ports, a top priority, serves as an example – new regulations will be enforced by July 2019 for newly built ships and two years later for older vessels and will necessitate the installation of adequate facilities.
Similarly, shipowners address the current regulations concerning sulphur limits in marine fuels and the creation of Sulphur Emission Control Areas (SECA) by installing scrubbers, which produce waste in need of proper handling by the ports.
Energy management, a key element in combating climate change, is another vital part of the Green InfraPort initiative, covering onshore power supply (OPS), energy efficiency in port areas and alternative fuels for terminal vehicles.
Stimulating the use of LNG as fuel for ships is a topic that has already spent some time in the spotlight. Several EU co-financed projects addressed the planning and deployment of LNG bunkering facilities in Baltic ports. Green InfraPort presents more options for ports interested in joining forces and further development of LNG bunkering infrastructure.
The BPO always took pride in strengthening the bonds between the Baltic ports. A harmonized approach to the tasks set and utilization of best practices are crucial items on the project's agenda, hopefully leading to a high level of cooperation between the ports addressed by the initiative.
Bogdan Oldakowski, BPO Secretary General, said: “Baltic ports have always been front runners when it comes to environmental initiatives. This project is another example of pro-active approach in the area of environmental management and investments in ports”.
Total worth of the received grant is EUR 46,140. The BPO will assume the role of the lead partner, while the Motus Foundation and SSPA Sweden AB will act as project partners. Official start of the project is set for April and should be completed by the end of March 2017.